TikTok on Monday filed a lawsuit challenging the state of Montana’s new ban on use of the Chinese-owned short-video app, reports Nikkei Asia. ByteDance-owned TikTok argues that the ban, which would take effect on Jan. 1, violates First Amendment rights of the company and users. The lawsuit, filed in US District Court in Montana, also argues the ban is preempted by federal law because it intrudes upon matters of exclusive federal concern and violates the commerce clause of the US Constitution, which limits the authority of states to enact legislation that unduly burdens interstate and foreign commerce.
Montana is the first US state to attempt to ban TikTok. Then-President Donald Trump in 2020 sought to bar new downloads of TikTok and Chinese-owned WeChat and other transactions, which the companies said would have effectively barred use of the apps, but a series of court decisions blocked the bans from taking effect.
The company also argues the state “banishes TikTok, and just TikTok, from the State for purely punitive reasons, as evidenced by the State’s decision to single out Plaintiff for harsh penalties based on speculative concerns about TikTok’s data security and content moderation practices.”
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