US TikTok ban is off following new government ruling

(Image credit: TikTok)

TikTok users won't need to use a VPN to access the video sharing service yet as the US Commerce Department has halted a ban on the app in the US.

The ban was originally set to go into effect on November 12 of this year after the app was deemed a national security risk by the Trump administration. However, TikTok itself recently had to ask the US Court of Appeals for more information after it received “no substantive feedback” despite the looming deadline.

Earlier this year, the US government announced that the app's parent company ByteDance would be required to sell off its US assets due to national security concerns. TikTok then offered to sell off part of its business to Oracle and Walmart though for the deal to go through, the Chinese government would have to approve as well.

The app was then granted a preliminary injunction by a Philadelphia court blocking the upcoming ban but until now, it has remained unclear as to what exactly would happen once the deadline passed.

Postponed for now

The US Commerce Department announced this week that it will “comply with the terms” of the preliminary injunction from September which means that TikTok won't be banned in the US just yet.

However, the app could still end up being banned as TikTok has only been granted an additional 15 days, until November 27, to persuade national security officials that its deal with Oracle and Walmart should be approved. At the same time though, the deal also still needs to receive approval from the Chinese government to be finalized.

The US isn't the first country to consider banning TikTok as the Indian government banned it and 58 other Chinese apps this summer citing data and privacy concerns.

Only time will tell whether or not the current administration plans to continue its efforts to ban the app. However, President Trump still seems to be solely focused on the US 2020 election which means ByteDance may end up not having to sell TikTok's US assets to another company after all. 


Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.