TikTok Challenges U.S. Divestiture Bill in Court Amid Escalating Legal Battle

TikTok responds to U.S. divestiture legislation by preparing for a legal battle, defending user rights and small business interests on its platform.

On April 22, 2024, an internal memo from TikTok’s Head of Americas Public Policy, Michael Beckerman, revealed the company’s intention to legally challenge the newly passed U.S. divestiture bill.

The House of Representatives had amended the bill to mandate ByteDance to sell TikTok within a year or face a ban in the U.S., a decision expected to be endorsed by the Senate and signed into law by President Biden.

Tiktok ban feature image

Legal and Strategic Concerns:

  • Constitutional Rights: Beckerman argues that the “sell or ban” mandate infringes on the First Amendment rights of TikTok’s 170 million U.S. users.
  • Impact on Small Businesses: The platform supports about 7 million small enterprises, which could face severe consequences if TikTok is banned or forced to divest.
  • Ongoing Legal Strategy: TikTok plans to use all available legal avenues to contest the bill, marking the beginning, not the end, of a prolonged legal process.

Background Efforts:

  • Lobbying: Prior to contemplating divestiture, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew led extensive lobbying efforts to convince U.S. lawmakers of the company’s commitment to security, hoping to avert legislative action.

Additional Insights:

  • Potential Outcomes: The case could set a significant legal precedent regarding government intervention in technology and social media, influencing how companies operate globally under U.S. law.

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TikTok Challenges U.S. Divestiture Bill in Court Amid Escalating Legal Battle

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