Updated May 17, 2024 - Technology

TikTok, DOJ request prompt decision on potential app ban

Illustration of a gavel hovering over a phone with an image on the screen of a gavel hovering over a phone, in a recursive pattern.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Department of Justice and TikTok asked a U.S. appeals court on Friday to expedite its consideration of legal challenges to the new U.S. law requiring parent company ByteDance to sell the app or face a ban, multiple outlets reported.

The big picture: It's the latest in a potentially protracted legal fight over the popular social media app's fate in the U.S., after President Biden signed a law forcing TikTok's sale or ouster.

  • The company has vowed not to go down without a fight.

State of play: The DOJ was joined by TikTok, ByteDance and a group of content creators in asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to make a decision by Dec. 6 to allow time for a potential review by the Supreme Court before a Jan. 19 deadline to sell.

  • "In light of the large number of users of the TikTok platform, the public at large has a significant interest in the prompt disposition of this matter," the petition states, per Reuters.
  • The DOJ, TikTok and ByteDance did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

Catch up quick: President Biden signed a bill last month that will force ByteDance to divest from its U.S. operations or face a nationwide ban.

  • The law gives ByteDance nine months to arrange a sale, with the possibility of extending the deadline by 90 days.
  • TikTok filed a petition last week challenging the constitutionality of the law.

Context: TikTok's critics have argued the social media app could put U.S. customer data at risk because Chinese law requires China's companies to share information with the government.

  • TikTok has maintained that it operates independently and protects U.S. data through an alliance with Oracle, which firewalls the data from overseas access.

Go deeper: What happens now that Biden has signed the TikTok bill

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