TikTok Preliminary Injunction Hearing Set for Sept. 27

A hearing in federal court to consider a preliminary injunction against the U.S. government’s ban of short-form-video app TikTok will take place on Sunday morning, according to the Associated Press. 

On Thursday, D.C. District Court Judge Carl Nichols told the Trump Administration that it had until 2:30 p.m. ET on Friday to extend the Sept. 27, ban deadline or prepare to defend it in place in court. TikTok filed for the preliminary injunction on Wednesday, arguing that the ban would infringe upon the First Amendment rights of its users and the platform.

Instead of extending the ban on Friday, Justice Department lawyers made several filings under seal because of the sensitive nature of the material submitted to the court–including trade secrets related to how TikTok operates its business.

The ban was set in motion in an Aug. 6 executive order issued by Trump and was to go into effect on Aug. 20, but a last-minute deal between Walmart, TikTok, Oracle, and other U.S.-based investors encouraged the administration to extend the deadline by one week.

The ban is set to roll out in two phases; in the first phase (on Sunday), TikTok would be banned from the Apple App Store and Google Play for Android devices, making it unavailable for download to new users. In the second phase (Nov. 12), transactions with the app would be banned, among other things.

The TikTok ban is part of a larger effort by the U.S. government to put more scrutiny on Chinese companies operating in the country through investments, in the name of protecting national security. The Trump administration has also targeted Tencent Holdings’ popular WeChat app, and has sent letters to companies with financial ties to the Chinese conglomerate inquiring about user data and related security protocols. Those targets include Tencent-owned League of Legends and Valorant maker Riot Games, Fortnite owner Epic Games, and other undisclosed companies.

While TikTok’s ties to the esports industry do not run particularly deep, it was starting to gain some momentum with esports teams, content creators on Twitch and YouTube, brands such as Dior and Louis Vitton, and professional sports teams, players, and leagues. TikTok has noted in several filings this week that the administration’s actions against the company have damaged its reputation, caused a loss of users and talent, and stymied potential commercial partnerships.

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