It’s been a while since we checked in on Donald Trump’s little feud against TikTok, which is based on the fact that it’s owned by a Chinese company (ByteDance) and has supposedly been taking data from American customer accounts and storing it on Chinese servers (a claim that seems to be supported by little to no evidence), but there have been some interesting moves in the last month or so. Trump had originally ordered that TikTok be pulled from mobile download stores on September 20 ahead of an outright ban on November 12, but the September 20 deadline was allowed to pass after Walmart and a tech company called Oracle announced plans to take over partial ownership of TikTok operations. (Oracle, for the record, is run by a Trumper, but there’s certainly no reason to think there’s anything questionable about that.)
Now there are disagreements about what that means, with ByteDance saying that it would still own the majority of TikTok and Oracle saying that ByteDance would own none of it, so a second deadline for TikTok to be pulled from app stores was put in place for September 27. That ban also didn’t come to pass, because—as reported by The Washington Post—U.S. District Judge Carl J. Nichols (a Trump appointee) stepped in hours before the deadline and declared that TikTok hadn’t been given sufficient time to defend itself against Trump’s accusations, referring to the original executive order that banned TikTok as a “largely unilateral decision with very little opportunity for plaintiffs to be heard.”
So TikTok lives to fight another day, but the judge did not throw out the November 12 deadline, so if TikTok can’t make a convincing case about how it’s not storing American user data on servers that could be accessed by the Chinese government, it could actually get banned for real by then.