TikTok plans to sue President Donald Trump’s administration over the Aug. 6 executive order that will make it illegal for U.S. citizens to conduct transactions between TikTok’s parent company ByteDance, according to an exclusive report from NPR.
The popular video-sharing app will file a federal lawsuit over the order as soon as Tuesday, according to NPR’s Aug. 8 report. The lawsuit is planned to be filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, where TikTok's American operations are based, a source from the company told NPR.
The lawsuit will argue that the executive order is unconstitutional because it did not give the company a chanced to respond, NPR reported.
"It's based on pure speculation and conjecture," the source told NPR. "The order has no findings of fact, just reiterates rhetoric about China that has been kicking around."
The executive order signed on Thursday prohibits “any transaction by a US person or within the US that evades or avoids, has the purpose of evading or avoiding, causes a violation of, or attempts to violate the prohibition set forth in this order.”
“The following actions shall be prohibited beginning 45 days after the date of this order,” the president said.
"As I explained in an Executive Order of August 6, 2020 (Addressing the Threat Posed by Tiktok, and Taking Additional Steps to Address the National Emergency With Respect to the Information and Communications Technology and Services Supply Chain), the spread in the United States of mobile applications developed and owned by companies in the People's Republic of China (China) continues to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States," the order reads.
TikTok released a statement on Aug. 7, expressing its “shock” at the executive order, which it said was “issued without any due process.”
“For nearly a year, we have sought to engage with the US government in good faith to provide a constructive solution to the concerns that have been expressed. What we encountered instead was that the Administration paid no attention to facts, dictated terms of an agreement without going through standard legal processes, and tried to insert itself into negotiations between private businesses,” the company’s statement read.
TikTok said in its statement that claims made by the U.S. government on whether the app may be used for misinformation campaigns, as well as fears over data collection by the Chinese government, are baseless.
“There has been, and continues to be, no due process or adherence to the law. The text of the decision makes it plain that there has been a reliance on unnamed ‘reports’ with no citations, fears that the app ‘may be’ used for misinformation campaigns with no substantiation of such fears, and concerns about the collection of data that is industry standard for thousands of mobile apps around the world,” TikTok’s statement continued.
“We have made clear that TikTok has never shared user data with the Chinese government, nor censored content at its request. In fact, we make our moderation guidelines and algorithm source code available in our Transparency Center, which is a level of accountability no peer company has committed to," TikTok said.
Microsoft had also been in talks to buy parts of TikTok, a forced sale after Trump threatened to ban the Chinese-owned video app, which claims 100 million U.S. users and hundreds of millions globally. Microsoft did not initially address a potential price when it confirmed the talks.
“We want the 100 million Americans who love our platform because it is your home for expression, entertainment, and connection to know: TikTok has never, and will never, waver in our commitment to you. We prioritize your safety, security, and the trust of our community – always,” Tiktok said in its statement.
“As TikTok users, creators, partners, and family, you have the right to express your opinions to your elected representatives, including the White House. You have the right to be heard.”
Austin Williams and the Associated Press contributed to this report.