US Federal Judge, Carl Nichols, has halted enforcement of a politically charged ban ordered by the Trump administration on downloads of the popular video app, TikTok.
This is coming a few hours before the order by the president was set to take effect.
The Trump administration order had sought to ban new downloads of the app from midnight (0400 GMT Monday) but would allow the use of TikTok until November 12, when all users would be blocked.
District Judge Carl Nichols issued a temporary injunction at the request of TikTok, which the White House has called a national security threat stemming from its Chinese parent firm’s links to the Beijing government.
The opinion was sealed, so no reason for the decision was released in a brief order by the court in Washington. The judge may unseal portions of the order after consulting with lawyers from both sides.
Amidst this, the judge denied TikTok’s request to suspend the November 12 ban.
The decision represents a temporary win for TikTok, which has 100 million US users. But the court has yet to consider the merits of the legal arguments on whether the social platform should remain available to Americans.
TikTok has argued that even a temporary ban would be devastating and cause the company irreparable harm by stunting its growth and hurting its commercial reputation.
“We’re pleased that the court agreed with our legal arguments and issued an injunction,” TikTok said in a statement.
“We will continue defending our rights for the benefit of our community and employees.”