The Trump administration is accusing the chief executive of ByteDance, the owner of video-sharing app TikTok, of being “a mouthpiece” for the Chinese Communist Party and alleging that the tech company has a close relationship with Beijing authorities that endangers the security of Americans.
The Justice Department on Friday night filed the Trump administration’s most thorough explanation of its push to ban TikTok in a legal filing in response to TikTok’s lawsuit asking a federal judge to stop Trump’s ban from taking effect on midnight Sunday.
U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols has scheduled a hearing for 9:30 a.m. Sunday to decide whether the Trump administration’s ban will take effect.
In the submission to the court, Justice Department lawyers say ByteDance CEO Zhang Yiming has made public statements showing he is “committed to promoting” the agenda of the Chinese Communist Party.
TikTok has for months distanced itself from its corporate owner, ByteDance, asserting that data on the more than 100 million U.S. users is stored primarily in Virginia, with backup in Singapore.