What's going on with TikTok? 1 month ago

What's going on with TikTok?

What's going on with TikTok? we hear you cry.

A move to ban the app from online stores in the States has been blocked by a US judge - but why is the app under threat of ban in the first place, and what's going to happen now?

Here's everything you need to know about Trump's TikTok ban attempt.

So, what's going on with TikTok? 

A judge blocked a potential ban on TikTok by US President Donald Trump that would have removed the service from US app stores.

The incredibly popular (and painfully addictive) Chinese-owned app was under threat in the States, with the ban due to take effect at 11.59pm on Sunday night.

Justice Carl Nichols of the US District Court for the District of Columbia temporarily blocked the ban following an emergency hearing where TikTok lawyers argued that removing the app from online stores would be detrimental to their business.

TikTok said the company was pleased with Justice Nichols' block and that they plan to “maintain our ongoing dialogue with the government to turn our proposal, which the president gave his preliminary approval to last week, into an agreement.”

Why does Donald Trump want to ban TikTok? 

Earlier this year, Trump issued executive orders that would ban TikTok and WeChat (a Chinese multi-purpose messaging service) from US app stores including those run by Apple and Google.

Trump said that TikTok posed a threat to US national security, while US officials said they remained concerned that data being collected by the app was being passed onto the Chinese government. TikTok has refuted this claim.

The move came amid rising tensions between the US and Chinese governments following trade disputes and issues around Beijing's approach to Covid-19.

Will any potential bans on TikTok affect the use of the app here in Ireland? 

No, unless a TikTok ban happens to occur in Ireland, there won't be any issues with accessing the app here.

Similarly, because the proposed ban was concerned with removing the service from app stores in the US, users can still scroll to their heart's content once the app is already available on their device.

However, if a TikTok ban is to go ahead in the States, this could have a knock on effect on the scale of content available to consume outside of America, as well as the company's survival without a US market.

As well as this, TikTok influencers have said a US ban would mean them losing “access to tens of thousands of potential viewers and creators every month, an effect amplified by the looming threat to close TikTok altogether."

Doug Marland, Cosette Rinab, and Alec Chambers filed their own motion last week to stop the ban, a move that was rejected by a Pennsylvania judge.

What happens now? 

Right now? Well, nothing. Trump's potential ban has been blocked by Judge Nichols this time around, but it's not yet known whether the later ban (which is more detailed) will go ahead.

The later ban, which is due to come into effect about a week after the US Presidential election in early November, would stop any US company from proving services to TikTok, essentially making the service impossible to use in America.

Judge Nichols has not yet said whether he will block this ban too.