Bytedance wants to defend itself against the US government and has announced a lawsuit against the decree of US President Donald Trump — which is supposed to force the Chinese TikTok owner to sell the US business.
Bytedance will file the lawsuit within the next week, probably on Monday, according to several media reports.
With the lawsuit, Bytedance wants to challenge the classification of Tiktok as a threat to national security, as Reuters has learned from anonymous sources.
Trump had banned US companies from doing business with TikTok at the beginning of August with reference to data security but suspended the execution of the order until mid-September 2020.
In court, the company wants to argue that Donald Trump has circumvented due process by basing the decree on the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. This law allows the president to regulate trade when national security is threatened directly.
Last week Trump ordered that Bytedance had to disconnect from all data from users in the United States within three months. Bytedance is also no longer allowed to own any property in the USA used for the operation of TikTok.
Bytedance initially did not provide any further details about the planned lawsuit. However, it is conceivable that the company will seek an injunction to circumvent the US government’s deadlines. If successful, the company would then have more time to try to sell the US business in a better negotiating position.
Selling it to a US company could solve the legal problems. Microsoft is negotiating with Bytedance to take over the Tiktok business in the US and other countries. Twitter and Oracle are also said to have held talks for a takeover of Tiktok in the USA.