US maintains plan for TikTok download ban; court to rule

US president Donald Trump cited national security concerns and issued orders to ban both TikTok and WeChat. (Reuters)
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Updated 26 September 2020

US maintains plan for TikTok download ban; court to rule

  • A Justice Department court filing said it opposes TikTok’s petition for an injunction
  • Donald Trump cited national security concerns and issued orders to ban both TikTok and WeChat

WASHINGTON: The Trump administration said Friday it would not back down from a plan to ban new US downloads of the popular video-sharing app TikTok, setting up a court showdown ahead of a Sunday deadline.
A Justice Department court filing said it opposes TikTok’s petition for an injunction to block the order from President Donald Trump, who has called the Chinese-owned social platform a national security risk.
US District Judge Carl Nichols set a hearing for Sunday at 9a.m. in Washington for TikTok’s request to block the president’s order before it goes into effect at 11:59p.m. Sunday.
The government lawyers said they wanted to file a brief “under seal,” which would not be available as a public record, citing national security and confidential business information.
The court filing said TikTok had tentatively agreed to sealed briefs but would reserve the right to request that some documents be made public.
TikTok has argued that a ban, even if temporary, could cause irreparable harm to the video-sharing application, which has some 100 million US users.
Nichols, who sits on the bench in Washington, told a telephone hearing on Thursday he disagreed with government lawyers’ claims that the ban — which would not immediately prevent usage of TikTok but prevent downloads by new users and updates — “merely preserves the status quo.”
Analysts also pointed out that any ban could prevent users from downloading updates and security patches for TikTok.
Earlier this month, Trump cited national security concerns and issued orders to ban both TikTok and the popular Chinese app WeChat — which has been put on hold in a separate court case in California.
But the TikTok order stops short of a full ban until November 12, giving the Chinese parent firm ByteDance time to conclude a deal to transfer ownership of the app.
A tentative deal unveiled last weekend would make Silicon Valley giant Oracle the technology partner for TikTok and a stakeholder in a new entity to be known as TikTok Global.
The status of the deal, which would include investment from US retail giant Walmart, remained unclear as the parties awaited word on whether it would win approval in Beijing.
As part of its earlier court filing, a statement from TikTok interim head Vanessa Pappas said the proposed ban would be devastating for the social platform, which had been surging in much of the world.
A ban “will cause our user base to stagnate and then precipitously decline,” Pappas said.
She noted that until July 1, when rumors of a ban first began to circulate, TikTok was adding some 424,000 new US users each day.
The TikTok petition also speculated that Trump was retaliating because of reports the app was used by his critics to snatch up tickets to a campaign rally in Tulsa to which they had no intention of going – an event which flopped with significantly fewer people in attendance than expected.


Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank awards media duties to Carat

Updated 28 October 2020

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank awards media duties to Carat

  • Carat’s approach will both complement our in-house digital marketing

DUBAI: Carat MENA has been awarded the offline media responsibilities for Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), a leading regional Islamic financial services group that serves more than a million customers through a distribution network in the UAE, Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Sudan and the UK.

The agency’s strength in strategic planning across media touchpoints and a data-driven, consumer-centric mindset provided by M1, Dentsu’s proprietary research tool, were said to be critical factors in the decision to select it for the role.

“This is a pivotal time for ADIB as we accelerate our evolution in becoming a market-leading digital bank by challenging old ways of doing things and pioneering the new,” said Inas Abou Salem, the bank’s global head of marketing, communications and branding.

“Carat’s approach will both complement our in-house digital marketing, while driving our offline media with the data-driven approach and strategic vision needed to drive consistent value for our customers.”

Ramzy Abouchacra, the CEO of Carat MENA, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with ADIB, integrating the best of our agency capabilities to support their digital transformation.

“Their ambition to innovate banking in the Middle East is exciting and clearly aligned with our ambition to redefine the role that media plays in driving transformative growth.”