- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 8, 2020

TikTok threatened legal action Friday in light of President Trump issuing an executive order creating uncertainties about the future of the popular Chinese-owned social media app.

Reacting to the order banning Americans from doing business with ByteDance, the Beijing-based company behind the app, TikTok said it was considering suing the Trump administration.

“We will pursue all remedies available to us in order to ensure that the rule of law is not discarded and that our company and our users are treated fairly – if not by the Administration, then by the U.S. courts,” TikTok said in a statement.

Mr. Trump issued the order Thursday requiring Americans to cut ties with ByteDance and its subsidiaries within 45 days and has suggested it sell TikTok to a U.S. company.

TikTok said in the statement the next day it was “shocked” he flexed his executive power and accused the Trump administration of acting without due process or adherence to the law.

NPR subsequently reported Saturday that TikTok is prepared to sue the Trump administration in federal court as soon as this Tuesday, citing an anonymous source familiar with the matter.

The suit is set to be filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, NPR reported. TikTok currently has its U.S. headquarters in Culver City.

TikTok declined to comment on NPR’s reporting when reached by The Washington Times and referred to its recent statement.

In his executive order, Mr. Trump criticized TikTok’s connections to the Chinese government and said it threatens the “national security, foreign policy and economy” of the U.S.

The Senate passed legislation earlier Thursday barring federal employees from downloading or using TikTok on any government-owned devices over similar national security concerns.

“Every day we wait is a day ByteDance can collect more information on and about Americans,” Sen. Josh Hawley, Missouri Republican, said before his TikTok bill passed.

TikTok has repeatedly denied sharing user data with the Chinese government or censoring content at its request.

“We want the 100 million Americans who love our platform because it is your home for expression, entertainment, and connection to know: TikTok has never, and will never, waver in our commitment to you,” TikTok said Friday. “We prioritize your safety, security and the trust of our community – always.”

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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