It's been a wild few weeks with President Trump threatening to shut WeChat and TikTok out of the U.S. market and rip them out of the app stores. There have been lawsuits, a preliminary injunction—and a sudden deal to purchase TikTok and moot the issue out. To chew it all over, Benjamin Wittes spoke with Lawfare co-founder Bobby Chesney, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin Law School, and Jordan Schneider, the voice behind the podcast ChinaTalk. They talked about how we got here, whether the threat from these companies is real or whether this is more Trump nonsense, and whether the deal to save TikTok will actually work.
This episode was recorded on Friday, September 24, 2020, before the big TikTok news of Sunday, September 27. On Sunday evening, Judge Carl Nichols of the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia issued a preliminary injunction against the implementation of President Trump's executive order to ban TikTok from U.S. app stores. The ban was set to take effect at midnight on Sunday night, but this order puts a temporary halt on that ban.