TikTok, U.S. Government Want Lawsuit Fast-Tracked by Court

WASHINGTON—The parent company of TikTok, ByteDance Ltd., and the U.S. Department of Justice have asked a federal appeals court to rule on whether the popular mobile app can be banned if an American company doesn't acquire it, as is required by a controversial, bipartisan national security funding measure signed by Democratic President Joe Biden last month.

In filings before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, attorneys for ByteDance and the Justice Department asked the court to rule by December 6, 2024. This would allow either party to seek review from the Supreme Court on the ruling before the deadline for ByteDance to divest from U.S.-based TikTok operations, which is January 19, 2025. 

"In light of the large number of users of the TikTok platform, the public at large has a significant interest in the prompt disposition of this matter," reads the filing.
TikTok has sued, claiming that the divest-or-ban requirement violates the First Amendment rights of over 170 million users and the company's. Proponents of the divest-or-ban measure argue that TikTok presents a national security risk, given that ByteDance has alleged ties to the government of Communist China. 
Being headquartered in Beijing and regulated under Chinese technology law, ByteDance has become a flashpoint in an ongoing trade war between the United States and China dating back to the administration of former Republican President Donald Trump. Trump previously called for a ban on TikTok but has since flipped on the issue due to one of his campaign backers being a billionaire shareholder of ByteDance stock.
Some projections place a potential divestment deal between ByteDance and a U.S.-based technology company could cost over $100 billion. The high-value asset is the algorithm developed for TikTok. Chinese trade regulators have blocked ByteDance from selling the algorithm to a foreign company, signaling to potential owners that they could only acquire the app without its most valuable component. 
TikTok quickly became a popular safe-for-work marketing tool for adult entertainment industry professionals. Losing access to TikTok could further limit the ability of industry professionals to advertise.