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

TikTok calls for industry support as it promises to challenge ban

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

TikTok received an unlikely vote of public support from its rival Instagram Friday, in response to the Commerce Department's latest order barring downloads of the app beginning Sunday. Meanwhile, the Chinese-owned video platform also said it would challenge the Trump administration's ban order as a violation of due process.

Why it matters: Major internet platform companies do not like to see different rules written for international apps in different countries, and many in the industry are beginning to view the campaign against TikTok as a dangerous precedent.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Sep 18, 2020 - Technology

Scoop: How the Oracle-TikTok deal would work

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

An agreement between TikTok's Chinese owner ByteDance and Oracle includes a variety of concessions in an effort to make the deal palatable to the Trump administration and security hawks in Congress, according to a source close to the companies.

Driving the news: The deal, in the form of a 20-page term sheet agreed to in principle by the companies, would give Oracle unprecedented access and control over user data as well as other measures designed to ensure that Americans' data is protected, according to the source.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Sep 17, 2020 - Economy & Business

The Chinese regulatory flex

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

All significant merger-and-acquisition transactions require regulatory approval — and a new regulator just got to town.

Why it matters: We're in a tit-for-tat trade war, which means that any action the U.S. takes against China is going to be reciprocated by a similar action taken by China against America. That includes regulatory actions.