WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department said Friday it will oppose a request from TikTok to delay an ban on U.S. app stores Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc Google set for late Sunday.
The government faced a 2:30 p.m. Friday deadline to either delay the ban or oppose TikTok’s preliminary injunction. The Justice Department asked permission to file their objection under seal because it includes submissions TikTok’s Chinese owner ByteDance made that include confidential business information.
ByteDance has said it has made a preliminary deal for Walmart Inc and Oracle Corp to take stakes in the short video sharing app, but the exact terms of the agreement remain unclear.
Judge Carl Nichols in Washington is expected to rule before Sunday on TikTok’s request. The Commerce Department on Sunday gave the companies an additional week to finalize a deal before an order banning TikTok from U.S. app stores takes effect.
On Sunday, a judge in California issued an preliminary injunction that blocked a similar order from taking effect on Tencent Holdings’ WeChat app. The Justice Department early Friday asked the judge to allow the ban to take effect pending appeal.
On Saturday, ByteDance, Walmart and Oracle said they reached an agreement that would to allow TikTok to continue to operate in the United States after President Donald Trump said he had blessed the deal.
U.S. officials have expressed serious concerns that the personal data of as many as 100 million Americans who use the app was being passed on to China’s Communist Party government.
ByteDance has said its deal with Oracle and Walmart will see the creation of a standalone U.S. company and does not involve any transfer of technology, though Oracle will be able to inspect TikTok U.S. source code. It has also said the deal needs approval from both China and the United States.
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