Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

TikTok has filed in D.C. federal court a request for a preliminary injunction against President Trump's executive order banning the app.

Why it matters: The Chinese-owned TikTok is in the crosshairs of mounting tensions between the U.S. and Beijing, culminating in Trump issuing a ban of the app unless it can be sold to American owners. The result has been a messy process that is still waiting final approvals.

The big picture: The move comes on the heels of fellow Chinese app WeChat successfully obtaining a similar halt in court.

Details: In the filings, TikTok argues that Trump's ban is illegal because the International Emergency Economic Powers Act does not extend to "'personal communication' and the international flow of 'information or informational materials.'"

  • "The government’s conduct is neither reasonable nor reasonably explained, and so is arbitrary and capricious in multiple respects," TikTok also says, adding that the ban therefore violates the the Administrative Procedure Act.
  • The company also argues that the ban infringes on its First and Fifth Amendment rights, and that it exceeds the Department of Commerce's authority.

By the numbers, per the filings:

  • 93 million monthly active users in the United States, as of Aug. 18.
  • As of July 2020, TikTok had 689 million global active users, and by Aug. 18, it had 2.43 billion global downloads.
  • Until rumors of a ban cropped up on July 1, TikTok was adding about 424,000 new daily U.S. users each day.
  • State Secretary Pompeo's announcement that Trump was considering banning TikTok resulted in a drop in 500,000 daily active users.
  • TikTok estimates that 40–50% of its daily active users won't return even if the ban is lifted after two months, and 80-90% will not return if it's in place for six months.

TikTok declined to comment beyond the court filing (the documents do not include all supplemental portions).

Editor's note: The story has been updated with additional details from the court filings.

Go deeper

Dec 18, 2020 - Technology

The data that apps use to track you, according to Apple


Data: Apple; Table: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Apple this week posted new privacy "nutrition labels" on apps in the iOS App Store, giving users a look at how different apps stack up according to Apple's standards.

The big picture: The labels show that generally, social media apps collect more kinds of data than messaging apps.

In photos: D.C. and U.S. states on alert for pre-inauguration violence

National Guard troops stand behind security fencing with the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building behind them, on Jan. 16. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Security has been stepped up in Washington, D.C., and state capitols across the U.S. as authorities brace for potential violence this weekend.

Driving the news: Following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by some supporters of President Trump, the FBI has said there could be armed protests in D.C. and in all 50 state capitols in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

The new Washington

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Axios subject-matter experts brief you on the incoming administration's plans and team.