The Trump administration on Monday appealed a federal court ruling which allows Chinese-owned short video-sharing app TikTok to continue to operate in the United States.
Trump has previously accused the tech firm of potentially leaking information about American users to the Chinese government but that notion was dismissed on December 7 by US District Judge Carl Nichols, as well as in a parallel case submitted in Pennsylvania.
The allegations of espionage from Trump have also been refuted by TikTok, which has over 100 million users in the US.
But now the Justice Department has revealed it is taking the case to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, even though the new legal challenge does not include fresh arguments for introducing a ban.
Commerce Department 'acted in a capricious manner'
Previously, Trump said the ban was needed in order to "protect our national security."
However, Judge Nichols said TikTok's attorneys had ably demonstrated that the Commerce Department probably overstepped its authority by seeking to prohibit the social media app and "acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner by failing to consider obvious alternatives."
TikTok has maintained its innocence over data transfers to Beijing, saying it keeps user information on servers in both the United States and Singapore.
TikTok has an additional fight on its hands in the form of an August 14 executive order from Trump to force ByteDance, which owns the video-sharing app, to sell its US operations to an American buyer.
jsi/sri (AFP, Reuters)