The TikTok application, which “at the direction of President” Donald Trump will be blocked as of Sunday, September 20, filed a last-minute complaint in a federal court in Washington in an attempt to stay active in the country.
TikTok and parent company ByteDance maintain that they are being targeted for political reasons and that efforts to keep them away from American phones is a violation of their First Amendment rights.
After weeks of rumors and speculation, the Commerce Department issued an order on Friday that will block additional downloads of the service from the Google and Apple app stores. The order will also apply to the Chinese courier WeChat.
The order will not affect people who have already downloaded the apps on their phones, but it will prevent users from receiving updates.
TikTok has roughly 100 million active users in the United States and has surprised US officials who are concerned that user data will fall into the hands of the Chinese government.
A compromise deal to allow Microsoft to buy TikTok platforms in the United States, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, fell through when the companies were unable to agree to the terms.
“ByteDance let us know today that they would not sell TikTok’s US operations to Microsoft,” the company said in a statement last week.
“At the direction of the president, we have decided on significant action to combat the malicious collection of personal data of Americans by China, while promoting our values and the norms of democracy,” said US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.
Ross confirmed the ban for WeChat and TikTok starting next Sunday.
“The Chinese Communist Party has shown that it uses this application to threaten national security, foreign policy, and the American economy,” the official added.
In the case of WeChat, on the other hand, it will be totally banned from Sunday.