A US federal judge on Thursday temporarily suspended a ban on the use of TikTok in the state of Montana. That ban would take effect in January 2024, but the judge rules that the popular app has a good chance of winning the ongoing lawsuit.
Friday, December 1, 2023 at 4:34 PM
Montana Governor Greg Gianforte signed a law in May banning TikTok, a subsidiary of Chinese tech group ByteDance. The law requires Apple and Google to no longer offer TikTok in their mobile application stores from January 1, 2024, under penalty of a fine of $10,000 per day per violation.
TikTok went to court to challenge the ban. “We are challenging Montana’s unconstitutional TikTok ban to protect our company and the hundreds of thousands of TikTok users in Montana,” the Chinese company said.
Federal Judge Donald Molloy has now stayed the ban until the case is heard on the merits. Molloy said it is likely that TikTok and its users will win the case because it appears that the law not only violates the right to free speech, but also violates the fact that foreign policy issues are the exclusive domain of the federal government.
“The current record leaves little doubt that the Montana Legislature and Attorney General were more interested in China’s high-profile role in TikTok than in protecting Montana consumers,” Donald Molloy said in his ruling.