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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.)

Philanthropy Deep Dive

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A look at how philanthropy is evolving (and why Dolly Parton deserves a Medal of Freedom).

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci says he accepted Biden's offer to be chief medical adviser "on the spot" — The recovery needs rocket fuel.
  2. Economy: U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows — America's hidden depression: K-shaped recovery threatens Biden administration.
  3. Education: Devos extends federal student loan relief to Jan. 31
  4. States: New Mexico to allow hospitals to ration coronavirus medical care
  5. Vaccine: What vaccine trials still need to do.
  6. World: UN warns "2021 is literally going to be catastrophic"
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Former FDA chief Rob Califf on the vaccine approval process.