TikTok’s US ban is on hold. What comes next?

TikTok averted a ban in the United States last week when a federal judge ruled that Washington couldn’t block it from app stores just yet.



The logo of TikTok is seen on a smartphone screen in New York, the United States, Aug. 30, 2020.


© Chine Nouvelle/Sipa/Shutterstock
The logo of TikTok is seen on a smartphone screen in New York, the United States, Aug. 30, 2020.

The short-form video app is still accessible, but its fate in the country is far from certain.

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The court ruling is only temporary, and could be appealed by the US government. The ruling could also eventually be thrown out: The judge only weighed in because TikTok challenged the ban, and the company could lose its court case.

To make things more confusing, TikTok’s court case isn’t the only thing governing the future of the app.

TikTok’s Chinese owner, ByteDance, is racing to close a deal with the American firms Oracle and Walmart that might be enough to satisfy the Trump administration’s concerns about the app and stave off US pressure once and for all.

What started all of this?

US President Donald Trump and his administration have been attacking TikTok for months because of its ties to China. They claim the app is a risk to national security because the user data it stores on Americans could wind up in the hands of the Chinese government.

Those attacks came to a head in August, when Trump issued executive orders that would effectively ban TikTok in the United States. He later said that the ban could be avoided if a “very American company” buys it.

TikTok, meanwhile, has pushed back against the claim that it poses a security risk, saying that the user data it keeps on Americans is stored stateside, with a backup in Singapore. Its opposition to the ban spurred TikTok to sue the Trump administration in federal court.

What

Kellyanne Conway has covid-19, and her daughter’s TikToks broke the news

Kellyanne Conway (center) is seen with Attorney General William Barr (right) and guests at the Rose Garden Supreme Court nomination event on Sept. 26. At least seven people in attendance that day have tested positive for covid-19 since, including President Donald Trump.

Kellyanne Conway (center) is seen with Attorney General William Barr (right) and guests at the Rose Garden Supreme Court nomination event on Sept. 26. At least seven people in attendance that day have tested positive for covid-19 since, including President Donald Trump.
Photo: Chip Somodevilla (Getty Images)

Former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway confirmed on Friday that she’s contracted covid-19 after her 15-year-old daughter broke the news in a series of TikToks revealing her mother’s positive diagnosis and denouncing President Donald Trump.

“Tonight I tested positive for COVID-19,” Conway tweeted Friday evening. “My symptoms are mild (light cough) and I’m feeling fine. I have begun a quarantine process in consultation with physicians.”

Earlier that evening, her daughter, Claudia Conway, posted a string of videos on TikTok saying that she was experiencing respiratory issues and that her mother was “coughing all around the house after Trump tested positive for covid.” (Trump tweeted early Friday morning that he and his wife, Melania, had contracted the virus.) A later video, in which she’s seen wearing a face mask, bears the caption “update my mom has covid” and tells her followers that she’s going on a two-week quarantine.

In another video, Claudia Conway, who in the past has been an outspoken critic of both Trump and her mother’s former position on his staff, states: “im furious. wear your masks. dont listen to our fucking idiot president piece of shit. protect yourselves and those around you.”

Her name quickly began trending on Twitter on Friday. The teenager, who has nearly 900,000 followers on TikTok, has previously gained attention for speaking openly about her disputes with her mother and father, Lincoln Project co-founder George Conway, over their polar opposite political beliefs. In August, she tweeted that she would be pursuing