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TikTok to sue Trump administration over transaction ban

ByteDance said it attempted to communicate with the US administration for nearly a year, but encountered a lack of due process as the US government did not pay attention to the facts.

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ByteDance, the owner of short video app TikTok, on Sunday announced that it will file a lawsuit to challenge the Trump administration’s ban on US transactions with the popular video-sharing app and its parent company.

ByteDance said in a statement that it attempted to communicate with the US administration for nearly a year, to offer solutions that are addressing the administration’s concerns, but encountered “a lack of due process” as the US government did not pay attention to the facts and attempted to “insert itself into negotiations between private businesses.”

On August 14, President Trump signed two executive orders to ban all transactions with ByteDance’s TikTok and Tencent’s WeChat in the US, giving the former 90 days to divest its operations in the country. ByteDance has been making progress talking with potential buyers, including Microsoft and Oracle. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, meanwhile, in an interview with the magazine Wired, described the deal as a “poisoned chalice.” The discussions are expected to finish before September 15.

The short video app has generated about 165 million installs in the US by April, according to mobile app market intelligence firm SensorTower.