By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – TikTok Inc on Wednesday asked a U.S. judge to block the implementation of Montana’s ban on the Chinese app before it goes into effect. January 1st.
TikTok is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance and filed a lawsuit in May seeking a preliminary injunction from U.S. District Judge Donald W. In the first instance of the app, U.S. states have imposed bans on a number of grounds, saying they violate the company’s and users’ First Amendment free speech rights.
Blake Chandlee, President of TikTok Global Business Solutions, said in the Montana injunction filed with the court that it “will cause significant and irreversible damage to our business and brand” and will damage “Relationships with Advertisers and Commercial Partners Across the Board”. country and around the world.
TikTok also argues that the ban is subject to federal law preemption because it violates a matter of exclusive federal concern and violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which limits the power of state governments to Enact legislation that places an undue burden on interstate and foreign commerce.
TikTok is used by more than 150 million Americans, and U.S. lawmakers are increasingly Calling for a nationwide ban out of fear of Chinese government influence over it, TikTok maintains in the lawsuit that it “has not and will not share U.S. user data with the Chinese government and has taken substantial steps to protect TikTok User Privacy and Security. “
Chandlee said that if the ban takes effect, “we expect more advertisers and business partners to withdraw from TikTok Inc (the entity receives revenue from US advertisers, including Montana) Cooperation. “
Montana may fine TikTok $150,150 per violation .The law does not impose penalties on individual TikTok users.
TikTok estimates Montana’s 150, people use the video service, more than a third of the state’s 1.1 million population.
Former President Donald Trump The 2020 attempt to ban new downloads of TikTok and China-owned Tencent-owned WeChat and related deals that the companies said at the time would have effectively banned the apps in the U.S. was blocked by a series of court decisions
TikTok’s lawsuit named Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen to enforce the law. Knudsen’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday .