Judge asks US to postpone TikTok ban or file injunction by Friday


A federal judge has asked lawyers for the Trump Administration if they will postpone a Sept. 27 deadline forcing companies like Apple and Google to drop TikTok from their app stores in the US.

Washington, DC, federal court judge Carl Nichols made the request on Thursday, a day after TikTok parent company ByteDance asked for a preliminary injunction to stop President Trump from enforcing the ban.

Judge Nichols asked Justice Department lawyers to file a brief arguing against the injunction by Friday at 2:30 p.m. EDT or agree to postpone the ban. TikTok has argued that the looming threat of a ban has damaged its reputation with its users and content creators, who are unsure about its long-term viability.

Nichols said court hearings could take place over a slower timeline if the government agrees to postpone the downloads ban, but will otherwise expedite things if they decline.

Trump gave his “blessing” to the TikTok deal — which would create a new US-based company called TikTok Global to run the app in the states — over the weekend, but he qualified his support Monday, saying it would not be approved if Beijing-based ByteDance maintained control of the app. The Trump administration has moved to ban the app unless it is sold amid fears that TikTok shares users’ data with the government of China.

The Chinese tech giant on Thursday said it applied for a technology export license from Beijing’s municipal commerce bureau that it will need to close the deal aimed at preventing the US from banning TikTok.

If TikTok is banned from app stores, users will still be able to use the app if they already have it on their phones, but will not be able to download any software updates.

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