US court will hear challenges to a possible TikTok ban in September

Participants hold signs in support of TikTok during a press conference outside the U.S. Capitol on March 12, 2024 in Washington, DC.

Anna Geldmaker | Getty Images

A US appeals court on Tuesday set an accelerated schedule to consider legal challenges to a new law requiring China-based ByteDance to divest TikTok's US assets by January 19 or face a ban.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ordered the case for oral argument in September, after TikTok, ByteDance and a group of TikTok content creators joined the Justice Department earlier this month in asking the court for an expedited schedule asked.

On May 14, a group of TikTok creators filed a lawsuit to block legislation that could ban the app used by 170 million Americans. They said it has had “a profound effect on American life” after TikTok and parent company ByteDance filed a similar lawsuit.

According to the appeals court schedule, the creators, TikTok and ByteDance must file legal documents by June 20 and the Justice Department by July 26, with response letters no later than August 15.

TikTok said that with an expedited schedule, it believes the legal challenge can be resolved without the need to seek preliminary injunctive relief.

TikTok and the Justice Department have requested a ruling by December 6 to seek Supreme Court review if necessary.

The law, signed by President Joe Biden on April 24, gives ByteDance until January 19 to sell TikTok or face a ban. The White House says it wants Chinese ownership to end for national security reasons, but not through a ban on TikTok.

The law bans app stores such as Apple and Alphabet Googling from offering TikTok and prohibits internet hosting services from supporting TikTok unless ByteDance divests TikTok.

Driven by concerns among U.S. lawmakers that China could access data on Americans or spy on them with the app, the measure passed overwhelmingly in Congress just weeks after its introduction.

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