TikTok Vows Legal Battle As U.S. Pushes for App Sale or Ban

TikTok plans to challenge an “unconstitutional” law in court, a law that could lead to its sale or ban in the United States.

President Biden has enacted legislation requiring TikTok’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance, to either divest the app within nine months or face a block in the US.

The legislation arises from concerns that TikTok could share user data with the Chinese government, allegations it has consistently refuted.

TikTok’s CEO, Shou Zi Chew, expressed confidence, stating, “We are confident and will continue to fight for your rights in court.”

He affirmed, “The facts and the Constitution are on our side… rest assured, we aren’t going anywhere.”

Shou Zi Chew criticized the law in a video on the platform, urging users to share their positive experiences with TikTok.

He declared, “Make no mistake, this is a ban on TikTok, and a ban on your voice.”

TikTok also released a statement claiming that the “facts and the law” were clearly in its favor.

“The fact is, we have invested billions of dollars to keep U.S. data safe and our platform free from outside influence and manipulation,” it said.

The law was part of a package of four bills that also included military support for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, and other US allies in the Indo-Pacific.

It has received broad support in Congress, with a significant majority of Senators voting in favor.

“For years we’ve allowed the Chinese Communist Party to control one of the most popular apps in America… that was dangerously short-sighted,” stated Senator Marco Rubio, the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee.

He noted, “A new law is going to require its Chinese owner to sell the app. This is a good move for America.”

TikTok and ByteDance have denied any affiliation with the Chinese government or any other nation, highlighting the significant stake held by global investment firms in ByteDance.

Experts have indicated that the law is significant but cautioned that it faces several obstacles.

Legal proceedings, potentially extending to the Supreme Court, might delay any action to block the app for years.

A U.S. federal judge in Montana recently halted an attempt to ban TikTok within the state.

The app’s widespread popularity among young Americans could pose additional challenges.

According to Andrew Przybylski, a professor at Oxford University, a large majority of young Americans are TikTok users.

“The primary challenge is going to be on freedom of speech and expression,” he said.

“The UN Charter on the Rights of the Child is quite specific: young people have a right to information and a right to play, so I think it can be challenged on those grounds,” he continued.

“The question remains—what does it mean to even sell TikTok in the US, is that truly possible, and what would a buyer look like?”

Considering the high potential cost, only a few buyers would likely be able to afford to purchase TikTok.