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‘We will pursue all remedies available to us’

TikTok has hit back at President Trump’s executive order to ban all transactions with its parent company ByteDance from September 20th, saying it shows “no adherence to the law.” The Chinese firm says the executive order was issued “without any due process” after a year in which it claims it has tried to address the US government’s concerns over its app.

TikTok suggests it intends to challenge the order in US courts. “We will pursue all remedies available to us in order to ensure that the rule of law is not discarded and that our company and our users are treated fairly — if not by the Administration, then by the US courts.” It adds that the order “risks undermining global businesses’ trust in the United States’ commitment to the rule of law.”


The response comes after Trump signed an executive order attempting to address national security concerns leveled at TikTok. The order says that Chinese-developed apps like TikTok “threaten the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.”

President Trump took the unusual move of citing the International Emergency Economic Powers Act along with the National Emergencies Act as providing the authority for the order. However, sanctions against individuals and corporations, like placing them on the “entity list,” normally come from the Commerce Department rather than the White House, or via the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. Both processes appear to have not been used in ByteDance’s case.

TikTok says the order sets a “dangerous precedent for the concept of free expression and open markets.” It adds that it’s tried to engage constructively with the US government over the issues raised, and has offered solutions like opening up its algorithm and providing more transparency about its moderation policies. “We have made clear that TikTok has never shared user data with the Chinese government, nor censored content at its request,” TikTok says.

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