TikTok Inc filed a lawsuit Monday challenging the state of Montana’s new ban on the use of proprietary short video app China. The social network, owned by ByteDance, argues that the ban, which would take effect on January 1, violates the First Amendment rights of the company and users.
The lawsuit, filed in Montana District Court, also argues that the federal law preempts the ban because it intrudes on matters of exclusively federal interest.
Montana is the first state in the country to try to ban TikTok
In 2020, former President Donald Trump tried to ban Chinese-owned TikTok and WeChat downloads and other transactions, which the companies said would have effectively prevented use of the apps, but a series of court decisions blocked the measures from taking effect.
The company also argues that the state “banishes TikTok, and only TikTok, from the state, for purely punitive reasons, as evidenced by the decision to target plaintiff with severe penalties based on speculative concerns about data security and TikTok’s content moderation practices” .
Last week, five TikTok users in Montana who create content posted on the short video app filed a lawsuit in federal court to block the state’s ban.
Montana Governor Greg Gianforte signed legislation Wednesday to ban TikTok in the state. The law makes it illegal for the app to operate in the state and for Alphabet Inc. Google and Apple Inc.’s app stores to offer the social network within Montana.
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