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U.S Judge Blocks Trump Administration's Ban On New TikTok Downloads

US_Judge_Blocks_Trump_Administration039s_Ban_On_New_TikTok_Downloads

A U.S. judge has temporarily blocked a Trump administration order that was set to bar Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google from offering Chinese-owned short video-sharing app TikTok for download at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday.

U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols in Washington issued the preliminary injunction in a brief order late on Sunday. He declined "at this time" to block restrictions set to take effect on Nov. 12 on technical and business arrangements which are crucial for the app to function properly.

Nichols' detailed written opinion is expected to be released as soon as Monday.

The Commerce Department said in a statement it "will comply with the injunction and has taken immediate steps to do so."

The statement, which defended the TikTok order and Trump's executive order demanding owner ByteDance divest its TikTok U.S. operations, did not specify whether the government would appeal.

The injunction comes at a time when negotiations are underway to hammer out terms of a preliminary deal for Walmart Inc and Oracle Corp to take stakes in a new company, TikTok Global, that would oversee U.S. operations. Trump has said he had given the deal his "blessing."

But key terms of the deal - including who will have majority ownership - are in dispute. ByteDance has also said any deal will need to be approved by China and Beijing has revised its list of technologies subject to export bans, in a way that gives it a say over any TikTok deal.

TikTok said it was pleased with the injunction and added it would maintain its "ongoing dialogue with the government to turn our proposal, which the president gave his preliminary approval to last week, into an agreement."

John E. Hall, a lawyer for TikTok, argued earlier on Sunday that the ban was "unprecedented" and "irrational".


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