TikTok’s fate in US to be decided before election

Multiple lawsuits, including those from TikTok creators and ByteDance, oppose the law, citing its impact on American life and free speech.

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A US appeals court has scheduled oral arguments for 16 September to address legal challenges against a new law requiring ByteDance, the China-based parent company of TikTok, to divest its US assets by 19 January or face a ban. The law, signed by President Joe Biden on 24 April, aims to eliminate Chinese ownership of TikTok due to national security concerns. TikTok, ByteDance, and a group of TikTok creators have filed lawsuits to block the law, arguing that it significantly impacts American life, with 170 million Americans using the app.

The hearing will coincide with the final weeks of the 2024 presidential election, and both parties are seeking a ruling by 6 December to allow for a potential Supreme Court review. The law also prohibits app stores like Apple and Google from offering TikTok and bars internet hosting services from supporting it unless ByteDance divests. Such a measure reflects US lawmakers’ fears that China could use TikTok to access American data or conduct espionage.