Hit by adverse court orders and amidst the increasingly chaotic transition of power from Donald Trump to Joe Biden, the US Commerce Department, said that it won’t enforce its earlier order to ban TikTok in the country. According to the latest report in The Wall Street Journal, the DoC is not withdrawing the shutdown order entirely, but is putting it on hold “pending further legal developments.”
Another court order that went against the US government in this case was by District Judge Wendy Beetlestone in Philadelphia last month in a suit brought by three TikTok stars, comedian Douglas Marland, fashion guru Cosette Rinab and musician Alex Chambers. In a scathing observation regarding the US Commerce Department’s order, Judge Beetlestone said the action “presents a threat to the robust exchange of informational materials” and therefore, exceeds the government’s authority under federal laws.
So after all the controversies over the past several months, TikTok is still available to download in the US, unlike in India. While the ban was originally slated to go into effect September 18th, the US Commerce Department delayed it by a week to let ByteDance and Oracle sort out the nitty-gritty of the latter’s proposed takeover of TikTok’s US operations, before being postponed further because of adverse court rulings, etc. It will be interesting to see how things go in the coming days in what seems like an ever-evolving saga.