A federal judge blocked the Trump administration’s attempt to ban TikTok downloads in the U.S., giving the Chinese-owned app a short-term victory as it scrambles to ensure its future while caught in a battle of brinkmanship between global superpowers.
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The ruling by Judge Carl Nichols of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., gives TikTok owner ByteDance Ltd. more time to get approval from U.S. and Chinese authorities for a pending deal that includes Oracle Corp. and Walmart Inc.
The court drama on Sunday, with the ruling landing less than four hours before the ban was to take effect, was a new chapter in a protracted saga still without a clear ending.
President Trump earlier this month gave the deal his preliminary blessing as a way to address his administration’s national security concerns. The U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment still must approve the particulars, including the sticky question of who would have majority ownership. The Chinese government could also nix it.