The video-sharing app TikTok has confirmed plans to sue the Trump administration over an executive order banning the company from engaging in commerce with American companies beginning next month.
While President Donald Trump has leveraged two executive orders against TikTok in recent weeks, the company has alleged that the August 6 order, which bans transactions with the company beginning in mid-September, violates their due process rights, according to CNBC.
“Even though we strongly disagree with the Administration’s concerns, for nearly a year we have sought to engage in good faith to provide a constructive solution,” a spokesperson told CNBC on Saturday. “What we encountered instead was a lack of due process as the Administration paid no attention to facts and tried to insert itself into negotiations between private businesses.”
“To ensure that the rule of law prevails and that our company and users are treated fairly, we have no choice but to challenge the Executive Order through the judicial system,” said the spokesperson.
TikTok, which is especially popular with Gen Zers, has 49 million daily users in the United States, and more than a third of them are 14-years-old or younger, according to a review of internal documents and data by The New York Times.
Furthermore, the estimated number of users who are 14-years-old or younger “was almost as large as the number of over-14 users, around 20 million,” and the demographics for young people using the app in Europe are similar, reports the Times.
Trump originally threatened to ban the app entirely in the United States amidst growing bipartisan cybersecurity concerns, particularly concerns that the company could give the Chinese communist government access to American user data.
“TikTok automatically captures vast swaths of information from its users, including Internet and other network activity information such as location data and browsing and search histories,” read the president’s executive order.
The order continued: “This data collection threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information — potentially allowing China to track the locations of Federal employees and contractors, build dossiers of personal information for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News last month that the only people who should use the app are those who want the communist government of China to have access to their data, as The Daily Wire previously reported.
TikTok has denied giving data access to foreign governments.
After the first executive order, Trump later signed another executive order banning transactions with ByteDance beginning 90 days from August 14.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Microsoft, Twitter, and Oracle have expressed interest in buying TikTok’s U.S.-based operations, with Microsoft going even further by aiming for a deal that includes TikTok’s Candian and Australian operations as well.
Acknowledging the negotiations in an early-August blog post, Microsoft said it was seeking a new structure that “would build on the experience TikTok users currently love, while adding world-class security, privacy, and digital safety protections.”
It’s not clear how far the negotiations have progressed.
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