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US judge blocks Trump ban on new TikTok downloads

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This pictures combo shows the logo of the social media video-sharing app TikTok displayed on a tablet screen in Paris, and US President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, DC, on July 30, 2020. PHOTO: AFP

A US judge has temporarily blocked a Trump administration order that was set to bar Apple and Google from offering Chinese-owned short video-sharing app TikTok for download on Sunday.

US 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 12 November 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.

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The US 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 US 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 and Oracle to take stakes in a new company, TikTok Global, that would oversee US operations. Trump has said he had given the deal his “blessing”.

TechCentral

Vanguard

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