TikTok sues Montana after state bans app

  23 May 2023    Read: 708
TikTok sues Montana after state bans app

TikTok Inc on Monday filed a lawsuit challenging the state of Montana's new ban on use of the Chinese-owned app, the first state to bar the popular short-video sharing service, Reuters reported.

TikTok argues the ban, which would take effect on Jan. 1, violates First Amendment rights of the company and users. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Montana, also argues the ban is pre-empted by federal law because it intrudes upon matters of exclusive federal concern and violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which limits the authority of States to enact legislation that unduly burdens interstate and foreign commerce.

TikTok, which is owned by China's ByteDance and used by more than 150 million Americans, has faced growing calls from U.S. lawmakers and state officials to ban the app nationwide over concerns about potential Chinese government influence over the platform.

Montana could impose fines of $10,000 for each violation by TikTok and additional fines of $10,000 per day if it violates the ban. The law does not impose penalties on individual TikTok users. It is not clear how Montana would enforce a TikTok ban.

Former President Donald Trump in 2020 sought to bar new downloads of TikTok and Chinese-owned WeChat, a unit of Tencent (0700.HK), and related transactions, which the companies said at the time could have effectively barred U.S. use of the apps, but a series of court decisions blocked the bans from taking effect.


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