In a court filing Wednesday, the US government said the Biden administration seeks a pause while it conducts a review of the Trump administration’s approach to the Chinese-linked social media company. TikTok declined to comment, but is not opposing the government’s motion, according to the filing.
Trump had sought to clamp down on TikTok over claims the app poses a national security risk, an assertion that TikTok has previously called unfounded. Last year, his administration tried to issue several restrictions aimed at the company, from forcing a sale to non-Chinese owners to prohibiting US app stores from carrying the app.
Now, however, the Biden administration wants to put the legal process on hold.
“As the Biden Administration has taken office, the Department of Commerce has begun a review of certain recently issued agency actions, including the Secretary’s prohibitions regarding the TikTok mobile application at issue in this appeal,” Wednesday’s filing read. “In relation to those prohibitions, the Department plans to conduct an evaluation of the underlying record justifying those prohibitions.
“The government will then be better positioned to determine whether the national security threat described in the President’s August 6, 2020 Executive Order, and the regulatory purpose of protecting the security of Americans and their data, continue to warrant the identified prohibitions,” according to the filing.
Speaking Wednesday to reporters, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the administration is evaluating potential threats to US data including from TikTok and that “we’ll address them in a decisive and effective fashion.”