The US appeals court in Washington on Wednesday agreed to complete a fast-track hearing on the Justice Department's appeal on a ruling that barred the government from banning downloads of Chinese app TikTok from Apple and Google's app stores for new users.
On 27th September, the US District Judge Carl Nichols in Washington issued a preliminary injunction that barred the US Commerce Department from ordering Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their app stores for download by new users. At that time, TikTok's lawyer argued in the court that it was an illogical decision by the government to ban the app when owner ByteDance was discussing a deal with American firms.
The ruling last month was the second against the Trump administration's efforts to crack down on Chinese-owned apps. Earlier, a federal judge in California also issued a similar injunction, blocking the government' order to ban Tencent Holdings' WeChat app from US app stores.
The US government is concerned that TikTok could share the users' content and data with the Chinese Communist Party.
On Wednesday, TikTok requested the court to issue a preliminary injunction to stop the government from imposing measures that would effectively ban the app's operations in the US by barring American firms from providing internet hosting and other services to TikTok.
Those restrictions are set to come into effect on 12th November.
TikTok's lawyers told the court that the government's attempted ban threatens to destroy app's competitive position and its user base.
"Competitors have already taken advantage of the government's highly-publicized intention to shut down the app to entice TikTok creators and users to switch platforms," TikTok lawyers said.
The company also said that the US government has failed to produce any evidence to suggest that TikTok source code has ever been compromised or used for malicious purposes.
Moreover, the government has not provided any evidence to support the claims that Beijing has ever obtained access to any US user data, TikTok lawyers said.
According to Reuters, the all briefs pertaining to the appeal are due by 12th November. The government is expected to file its arguments by 23rd October with oral arguments set for 4th November.
Last month, American firms Oracle and Walmart announced that they had reached an agreement with ByteDance that would soothe President Donald Trump's concerns over TikTok.
As part of the deal, ByteDance would create a US subsidiary, TikTok Global, which would include TikTok's operations in the US and other countries, excluding China. Oracle would own a 12.5 per cent stake in the new company, while Walmart would take a 7.5 per cent stake.
Oracle has assured the government that it is able to address security concerns linked with TikTok and to protect American users' data from foreign influence.
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