A federal judge in the US has blocked the government’s ban on TikTok from taking effect on 27 September. TikTok’s lawyers argued President Donald Trump’s order to remove the app from app stores infringed on free speech and due process rights. Judge Carl Nichols of the US District Court for the District of Columbia responded by halting the ban, which was set to kick in at midnight, NPR reports.
Nichols denied a request to extend a 12 November deadline for TikTok to spin off its US operations to an American company, or face possible extinction in the country. The company said it would continue to work towards finalising a preliminary agreement reached with Oracle and Walmart a week ago.
The government said it would comply with the injunction, but also continue its legal fight against TikTok. The executive order blocking the app’s distribution in the US “is fully consistent with the law and promotes legitimate national security interests,” the Commerce Department said in a statement.
It “intends to vigorously defend the E.O. and the Secretary’s implementation efforts from legal challenges”.
A date for a full hearing of TikTok’s appeal has yet to be set.