The video-sharing app TikTok has moved to the center of the economic conflict between China and the United States. It is planning to challenge an executive order issued by President Donald Trump that will force the sale or prohibition of the service in the United States.
According to a report from the National Public Radio yesterday, TikTok may file a federal lawsuit on Tuesday to challenge the order. The lawsuit is expected to be filed in the U.S. District Court in Southern California, where TikTok’s U.S. headquarters is located.
According to the NPR report, TikTok will challenge the constitutionality of the ban and its basic claim that video sharing services pose a national security threat.
TikTok did not respond to a request for comment when it was released.
On Thursday, the President signed an executive order requiring U.S. companies to terminate business relationships with TikTok’s parent company Bytedance and the messaging service WeChat owned by Chinese technology giant Tencent within 45 days.
TikTok already expressed opposition to the executive order when the news came out the first time the president signed the news.
Following the condemnation of TechCrunch, the company stated that the order was “issued without any due process” and could “damage global companies’ trust in the United States’ commitment to the rule of law”.
The White House’s mechanisms to prohibit the use of the application include the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the National Emergency Act.
However, the claim that operating a subsidiary of a foreign company in the United States constitutes a national emergency is unprecedented.
According to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act passed during the Iranian hostage crisis in 1976, the president has extensive powers to issue tariffs and suspend economic relations with other companies.
Any challenge to the executive order must come soon because TikTok’s parent company Bytedance is also studying how to relax its US business through the sale.
After announcing the president’s executive order, Microsoft said in a statement that it was in talks with ByteDance to acquire TikTok.
“Following the dialogue between Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and President Donald J. Trump, Microsoft is ready to continue discussions to explore the purchase of TikTok in the United States. Microsoft fully understands the importance of addressing the president’s concerns . It is committed to acquiring TikTok, subject to a comprehensive security review, and providing appropriate economic benefits to the United States (including the U.S. Treasury Department).”
Analysts and bankers said that TikTok’s business in the United States may be worth between 20 billion and 50 billion U.S. dollars, thanks to a report in Fortune magazine that the company has more than 100 million customers in the United States.