A group of 18 state attorneys general said Monday they supported Montana’s effort to ban the Chinese-owned short-form video app TikTok, urging a U.S. judge to rule out legal challenges ahead of the Jan. 1 effective date. Reject.
State attorneys general led by Virginia and Georgia, Alaska, Utah, Indiana, Nebraska, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky and South Dakota said TikTok and the consumer’s suit should be dismissed “because TikTok is an intentionally fraudulent business.” Engage in ways that affect people. Share sensitive personal information that the Chinese Communist Party can easily access and because TikTok’s platform harms children in Montana.”
TikTok, which is owned by China’s ByteDance, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday, and filed a lawsuit in May to block the first U.S. state ban of its kind on multiple grounds, arguing that That this is a violation of the First Amendment. Company and consumer free speech rights.
A hearing on TikTok’s request for a preliminary injunction is scheduled for October 12.
States say TikTok, which is used by more than 150 million Americans, is facing growing calls from U.S. lawmakers for a nationwide ban over concerns of potential Chinese government influence. Legislative efforts to give the Biden administration more power to ban or crack down on TikTok have stalled.
Last month, Attorney General Austin Knudsen, a Republican, said the state legislature and governor “did the right thing in prohibiting TikTok from operating in Montana as long as it is controlled by a foreign adversary.”
In March, lawmakers accused TikTok of offering harmful content and causing “emotional distress” to young users.
TikTok says it “has not and will not share US user data with the Chinese government, and has taken reasonable measures to protect the privacy and security of TikTok users.”
Montana can fine TikTok up to $10,000 for each violation. The law does not impose penalties on individual TikTok users.
TikTok estimates that 380,000 people in Montana use the video service, or more than a third of the state’s 1.1 million people.
Former US President Donald Trump tried to ban new TikTok downloads in 2020, but a series of court rulings prevented the ban from taking effect.