Washington: A US federal judge has temporarily blocked President Donald Trump’s administration’s ban on the Chinese short video-making app, TikTok just hours before it was scheduled to go into effect, according to media reports.
On Sunday, Judge Carl Nichols of the US District Court for the District of Columbia, halted the ban after TikTok’s attorneys argued that Trump’s ban infringes on rights to free speech and due process, reports The Hill news website.
The ban would have forced the removal of TikTok from smartphone app stores and end app-updates, meaning no new users could download it and would eventually become non-functional.
Responding to the verdict, TikTok on Monday said it was pleased with the decision, and vowed to keep defending its rights, the BBC reported.
“We’re pleased that the court agreed with our legal arguments and issued an injunction preventing the implementation of the TikTok app ban,” the statement said.
Earlier this month, the Commerce Department had announced that TikTok downloads would be banned from September 20, and further restrictions would go into effect November 12, reports CNN.
Following the development, the Department said late Sunday that it would comply with the injunction, but adding that its order was “fully consistent with the law and promotes legitimate national security interests”.
It added that the US government intends to “vigorously defend” its order.
Sunday’s order came a week after a judge had temporarily halted Trump’s executive order to ban WeChat, a Chinese messaging, social-media and mobile-payment app.
This ban was to go into effect on September 20.
On August 6, Trump had issued the executive order banning US transactions via WeChat.
To fight for the legal rights of all WeChat users in the country, USWUA, an NGO, sued the administration for the ban.
The lawsuit opened in court on September 17.