TikTok and one of its employees have separately sued the Trump administration for the executive order banning the Chinese social media app from completing transactions in the US.
Tiktok and its Chinese parent ByteDance described the executive order signed by Donald Trump this month part of a ‘broader campaign of anti-China rhetoric’ as he seeks a second term in office.
The companies also rejected the White House’s characterisation of the short-form video sharing app as a threat to US national security, arguing that they had taken ‘extraordinary measures to protect the privacy and security of TikTok’s US user data’.
We do not take suing the government lightly,’ TikTok said in a blog post. ‘But with the Executive Order threatening to bring a ban on our US operations … we simply have no choice.’
Parick Ryan, a technical program manager at TikTok, sued the Trump administration over concerns that he and his 1,500 colleagues in the US, including many on employment visas, will lose their jobs next month if Mr Trump’s order is enforced.
‘These are not decisions that belong to the government,’ Mr Ryan told Reuters. ‘It’s not okay to even consider.’
Mr Ryan’s lawyer Alex Urbelis said the order suffered from ‘unconstitutional vagueness’ and deprived TikTok employees of due process.
TikTok and ByteDance are seeking a permanent injunction to prevent Mr Trump from enforcing the order, alleging the Trump administration has violated their constitutional right to due process by banning the company without an opportunity to respond to accusations.
They also allege that Mr Trump lacked the legal authority to issue the order, arguing he misused the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which allows the US President to regulate international commerce during a national emergency.