The US government on Monday appealed a federal judge's order preventing the Commerce Department from imposing restrictions on the Chinese-owned short video sharing app TikTok that would have effectively banned its use in the US.
The administration of outgoing President Donald Trump cited national security concerns in its targeting of TikTok, arguing that the Chinese government could obtain the personal data of American users.
TikTok, which has more than 100 million users in the United States, denies the allegations.
In a ruling issued on December 7, Washington District Judge Carl Nichols issued an order prohibiting the Commerce Department from banning the in-country hosting of data for TikTok, content delivery services and other technical transactions that would have prohibited TikTok from being used in the United States.
Officials do not expect the government to decide the fate of TikTok in the United States before Trump leaves office on January 20 (Reuters)
The Justice Department said it is appealing Nichols' order to the District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
A separate appeals court is set to hear the appeal in February of the ruling by Wendy Pittlestone, Pennsylvania District Judge, that blocked the same restrictions that were due to go into effect on November 12.
Officials familiar with the matter told Reuters it was unlikely the government would decide the fate of TikTok in the United States before Trump leaves office on Jan.20.
In a separate ruling in September, Nichols issued an order barring the Commerce Department from asking Apple and Alphabet's, which owns Google, to remove the TikTok app owned by Chinese company ByteDance from their stores.
An appeals court in Washington heard the government’s appeal two weeks ago.
Earlier this month, the Trump administration chose not to grant the TikTok owner a new extension to an order issued by the president in August requiring the company to withdraw the app's US assets.
This gave the Ministry of Justice the authority to enforce the stripping order once the deadline expired.
Jeffrey Rosen, the deputy attorney general at the time, declined to say whether the Justice Department would seek to enforce the order.
Rosen has since become the acting attorney general of the United States.
ByteDance has been in talks for months to finalize a partnership deal with Walmart and Oracle to transfer US TikTok assets to a new entity.