In recent years, the United States government has warned that China may use Chinese companies as a vehicle for infiltrating American data security. The U.S. first acted on this warning in 2017 when it effectively banned Huawei—one of the world’s largest telecom companies—from the U.S. market. Then-president Donald Trump subsequently turned the controversy to the popular social media app, TikTok, in an attempted ban over alleged privacy issues. Personal data collection and the legal implications behind trying to ban China-linked apps is an increasingly controversial topic in American politics. This article assesses the lawsuits following these groundbreaking governmental movements, including how the case of Huawei v. United States compares to the lawsuits and court decisions following Trump’s executive order prohibiting transactions between U.S. citizens and TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance. This includes an analysis of the holdings various courts reached and why they differ among jurisdictions, parties, and claims. Finally, this article will discuss future implications for TikTok and what the U.S. government may need to prove to place the app in the same sphere as its Huawei counterpart.


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)