TikTok Ban: Radio Silence from Trump Administration Sets In

It was supposed to be another deadline set by the administration. TikTok is still waiting for a response about their deal.

The TikTok ban is seemingly on a holding pattern now. The last development we were able to cover about the platform is TikTok trying to correct the record on a few mischaracterizations made by the administration. This from court documents that were filed before a hearing set for November 4th.

The question is, what has happened since then? Well, apparently, things started looking good for the impeached president. From BNN:

A federal judge in Washington appeared reluctant to issue another order halting a proposed U.S. ban on video-sharing app TikTok, noting that a judge in Pennsylvania had already blocked the government’s plan Friday.

By putting the ban on hold, the Pennsylvania order “forecloses most if not all of TikTok’s arguments” for another injunction in Washington, U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols said during a hearing Wednesday. Nichols said he may request further court filings on the relationship between the two cases, but suggested a second order isn’t necessary. He didn’t say when he’d rule.

Lawyers for TikTok, which is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance Ltd., argued that the Pennsylvania ruling could still be overturned on appeal.

Of course, as almost everyone knows, the US elections hit. After days of uncertainty, Joe Biden was declared president elect. Trump, for his part, was busy spending multiple days on the golf course.

Apparently, in the midst of all of that, the administration simply forgot about the whole TikTok ban thing. From The Verge:

“For a year, TikTok has actively engaged with CFIUS in good faith to address its national security concerns, even as we disagree with its assessment,” TikTok says in a statement to The Verge. “In the nearly two months since the President gave his preliminary approval to our proposal to satisfy those concerns, we have offered detailed solutions to finalize that agreement – but have received no substantive feedback on our extensive data privacy and security framework.”

In response, TikTok filed for an extension of the injunction. From the LA Times:

But the prospects of getting a deal done have grown murkier since Joe Biden was elected president and Trump has filed legal challenges disputing the result.

In its petition, ByteDance said it has not received clarity on whether its proposed plan would be accepted, or if it would be given a 30-day extension. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. had set a Thursday deadline for TikTok to sell its U.S. operations, or risk being shut down.

The committee has raised security concerns about ByteDance’s acquisition of lip-synching app Musical.ly, which has millions of U.S. users.

“We remain committed to working with the administration — as we have all along — to resolve the issues it has raised, but our legal challenge today is a protection to ensure these discussions can take place,” TikTok said in statement.

What happens next remains unclear. With Trump preoccupied with trying to overturn the election results, there are plenty of people out there thinking that he simply forgot about TikTok altogether. It’s certainly possible that this is yet another mess Biden has to clean up after getting sworn in. At any rate, TikTok is now forced to play the waiting game and see either how the courts respond or if the Trump administration will finally get back to TikTok.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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