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TikTok sues Trump administration over U.S. ban, calling it an election ploy

TikTok on Monday sued U.S. President Donald Trump's administration over his executive order banning transactions in the United States with the popular short-form video-sharing app, calling it a pretext to fuel anti-China rhetoric as he seeks reelection.

In a blog post, TikTok said it strongly disagreed with the White House's position that the company was a national security threat, saying it had "taken extraordinary measures to protect the privacy and security of TikTok's U.S. user data."

Both the app and parent company ByteDance Ltd also described Trump's call in his Aug. 6 executive order for a TikTok ban as a means to further his alleged "broader campaign of anti-China rhetoric."

They further claim this is ahead of the Nov. 3 U.S. presidential election, where Trump is seeking a second term.

It also said the administration has ignored its "extensive efforts" to address its concerns, and accused Trump of politicizing the dispute.

"We do not take suing the government lightly," TikTok said. "But with the Executive Order threatening to bring a ban on our U.S. operations ... we simply have no choice."

The White House referred a request for comment to the U.S. Department of Justice, which declined to comment.

Haifaa Mafalani_Reuters