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TikTok Sues U.S. to Block Ban, Sale Mandate, Says Divesting From ByteDance 'Not Possible' TikTok has less than a year to separate from Beijing-based ByteDance or face a U.S. ban.

By Sherin Shibu

Key Takeaways

  • TikTok claims that the U.S. law ordering it to divest from ByteDance or face a ban is unconstitutional and doesn't really offer a choice.
  • Divesting is not an option, according to TikTok.

Less than two weeks after President Biden signed a bill that could ban TikTok into law, the social media platform and its Beijing-based parent company ByteDance are contesting the bill in court.

TikTok claims that the Protecting Americans From Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act, which gives TikTok nine months to separate from ByteDance or face removal from U.S. app stores, is unconstitutional and effectively bans it in the U.S. by next year.

Divesting from ByteDance "is simply not possible: not commercially, not technologically, not legally. And certainly not on the 270-day timeline required by the Act," TikTok stated in a lawsuit filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Tuesday.

Related: Reddit Co-Founder Alexis Ohanian Sounds Off on Proposed TikTok Ban

"There is no question: the Act will force a shutdown of TikTok by January 19, 2025, silencing the 170 million Americans who use the platform to communicate in ways that cannot be replicated elsewhere," the lawsuit stated.

TikTok's short-form video style has been adopted by competitors like YouTube, through YouTube Shorts, and Instagram, with Reels.

TikTok asked the court to issue a judgment stating that the act violates the U.S. Constitution and block the act from being enforced. The filing reinforces ByteDance's recent public statements that it has no plans to sell TikTok.

Related: ByteDance Would Rather Shut Down TikTok in the U.S. than Sell It

Lawmakers pushed for the TikTok ban bill on national security grounds, repeatedly scrutinizing TikTok over its ties to the Chinese government.

TikTok claims American data is walled off, but employees told The Wall Street Journal in January that data is still sometimes shared with ByteDance.

TikTok officially launched in the U.S. in 2018 and quickly soared to the top of the most downloaded apps list in 2020, 2021, and 2022. With increased regulatory scrutiny, TikTok's growth rate has slowed, but the company is still in the top five most popular social media companies in the world and has more than 1.5 billion monthly active users.

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew was an honorary chair at the Met Gala on Monday, marking the first time that a social media executive held the title.

Sherin Shibu

Entrepreneur Staff

News Reporter

Sherin Shibu is a business news reporter at Entrepreneur.com. She previously worked for PCMag, Business Insider, The Messenger, and ZDNET as a reporter and copyeditor. Her areas of coverage encompass tech, business, strategy, finance, and even space. She is a Columbia University graduate.

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