President Donald Trump’s ban on TikTok was temporarily blocked by a federal judge, dealing a blow to the government in its showdown with the popular Chinese-owned app that it says threatens national security.
After an unusual Sunday morning hearing, U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols granted a preliminary injunction against the ban on new downloads of the video-sharing network, which would have gone into effect at 11:59 p.m. in Washington. The judge declined to grant an injunction on a separate set of prohibitions scheduled for Nov. 12 that are designed to further curb the app’s use in the U.S.
TikTok’s owner, ByteDance, requested the hold after the president ordered the app out of American stores unless the company sold a stake in its U.S. operations to a domestic buyer. The ban would have removed TikTok from stores run by Apple and Google’s Android, the most widely used marketplaces for apps. People who didn’t yet have the app wouldn’t have been able to get it, and those who already had it wouldn’t have access to updates needed to ensure its safe and smooth operation. TikTok has been downloaded by more than 100 million Americans.
“We’re pleased that the court agreed with our legal arguments and issued an injunction preventing the implementation of the TikTok app ban,” the company said in a statement. “We will continue defending our rights for the benefit of our community and employees. At the same time, we will also maintain our ongoing dialogue with the government to turn our proposal, which the President gave his preliminary approval to last weekend, into an agreement.”