TikTok is suing the state of Montana in the United States over the state's ban of the app. In the complaint, TikTok argues that Montana’s ban violates the Constitution by limiting the company’s right to host and distribute user-created content.
TikTok also argues that Montana is overstepping its role by attempting to legislate matters of national security rather than deferring to federal regulators. Also, Montana authorities violate legislation restricting the right of states to interfere with international trade and interstate business.
“We are challenging Montana’s unconstitutional TikTok ban to protect our business and the hundreds of thousands of TikTok users in Montana. We believe our legal challenge will prevail based on an exceedingly strong set of precedents and facts,”
the company said in a statement.
TikTok, owned by Chinese ByteDance, believes that Montanahas nothing to back up its claims that Chinese authorities could gain access to TikTok user data. The company insists that it "has not shared, and would not share U.S. user data.”
Last week, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte signed a law that banned TikTok in the state.
The law makes it unlawful for TikTok to operate in the state and for the app stores of Alphabet Inc’s Google and Apple Inc to offer TikTok within Montana. There is a fine of $10,000 per day for violating the law.
Five Montana TikTok creators filed a lawsuit in federal court trying to block the state's ban on the app.
In March, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew testified before the U.S. Congress about the company's ties to China and said that ByteDance would delete U.S. user data from its servers by the end of 2023.
Late last year, the U.S. Congress approved a bill banning the use of the TikTok social network on federal government phones and electronic devices. On March 1, 2023, The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee approved a bill that authorizes the president to ban TikTok from operating in the country.
Sources: TechCrunch, Bloomberg, SCMP