U.S. Appeals Order Blocking Restrictions In TikTok Suit

On Monday, the United States filed a notice of appeal to the D.C. Circuit Court regarding Judge Carl J. Nichols of the District of Columbia District Court’s order granting TikTok’s motion for preliminary injunction against the government and Department of Commerce’s remaining prohibitions, which essentially barred TikTok in the United States. Earlier, the district court granted TikTok’s motion for preliminary injunction against the first prohibition.

Government action against the social media giant began in May when some Members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to TikTok expressing their concerns about the company. The Trump administration cited national security concerns as reasoning for issuing the prohibitions, claiming that personal data of 100 million U.S. TikTok users could be obtained by the Chinese government. Consequently TikTok sued the U.S. government following the executive order and ban. TikTok denied these claims and asserted that it takes measures to protect user data.

In the December 7 order and following opinion, Judge Nichols prevented the Department of Commerce from enforcing the remaining prohibitions, namely prohibitions on, internet hosting services, content delivery network services, and internet transit or peering services enabling TikTok, as well as using TikTok’s code, function, or services in the U.S.

In November, TikTok appealed to the D.C. Circuit regarding the August executive order and related action regarding the government’s effort to compel ByteDance to divest TikTok. In October, the U.S. government appealed Judge Nichols’s order granting TikTok relief for the first prohibition; the D.C. Circuit recently heard the oral argument regarding the government’s appeal. In another suit, Judge Wendy Beetlestone of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted TikTok creators’ request for preliminary injunction against the Department of Commerce’s remaining prohibitions like the instant suit, the U.S. appealed the Pennsylvania suit to the Third Circuit.

The Trump Administration and other defendants are represented by the Department of Justice. TikTok is represented by Covington & Burling.