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

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Photo: Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

TikTok is expected to sue the Trump administration Monday over its move to ban the app, in what's likely to be an explosive and closely watched court battle.

Why it matters: The Trump administration has given ByteDance, TikTok's Chinese parent company, a deadline to divest its U.S. operations or else see its massively popular social video app banned.

Driving the news:

  • TikTok confirmed Saturday that it plans to sue directly over the impending ban.
  • TikTok’s suit is expected to come later Monday, sources told Axios.
  • TikTok has said there was no due process in Trump's abrupt move to ban the app.

Between the lines: The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that the government action against TikTok was preceded by an aggressive behind-the-scenes lobbying push by Facebook and its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.

Meanwhile: A group representing WeChat users, per the Wall Street Journal, has sued over Trump's planned ban of the messaging platform, also used for a raft of other functions by people in China and those who do business in the country.

  • The Trump administration is privately telling U.S. companies they can keep doing business with WeChat in China even if it's banned in the U.S., Bloomberg reported Friday.
  • Without that allowance, products like Apple's iPhone could become far less appealing in China, where WeChat is central to most people's digital lives. It could even dent sales outside of China considering all the people who rely on WeChat to communicate with loved ones in China or to do business there.

Go deeper

Nov 24, 2020 - Technology

Social media companies all starting to look the same

Data: Axios research; Table: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Snapchat on Monday launched Spotlight, a video tab within its app that, like TikTok, distributes videos based more on how popular they are than on who created them. Facebook in August launched its TikTok competitor, called Reels.

Driving the news: Snapchat's news comes days after Twitter said it would be adding "Fleets," which are basically Snapchat stories for people who tweet. (Nearly every social media app has launched some version of Stories in the past few years.)

7 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.