The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has accelerated its schedule to address legal challenges against a new law requiring ByteDance, the China-based parent company of TikTok, to divest its U.S. assets by 19 January 2025, or face a ban on the app. This decision follows a joint request by TikTok, ByteDance, a group of TikTok content creators, and the Justice Department for a swift resolution.

Earlier this month, TikTok and ByteDance, alongside TikTok creators, initiated lawsuits to prevent the enforcement of this legislation. The creators argue that the app, which is used by 170 million Americans, has become integral to American life.

Under the court’s expedited schedule, TikTok, ByteDance, and the creators must submit their legal briefs by 20 June. The Justice Department’s brief is due by 26 July, with reply briefs from all parties required by 15 August. Oral arguments are scheduled for September. TikTok has expressed confidence that this fast-track approach will allow the legal challenge to be resolved without the need for emergency preliminary injunctions.

The new law, signed by President Joe Biden on 24 April, mandates ByteDance to sell TikTok’s U.S. operations by mid-January to avoid a ban. The legislation also prohibits major app stores, such as those operated by Apple and Google, from offering TikTok and bars internet hosting services from supporting the app unless the divestiture occurs. This measure was passed by Congress with overwhelming support, driven by concerns that the Chinese government could potentially exploit TikTok to access data on American users or conduct surveillance.

The White House has emphasized that the goal is to end Chinese ownership of TikTok on national security grounds, rather than to ban the app itself. Both TikTok and the Justice Department are seeking a resolution from the appeals court by 6 December, which would allow time to request a Supreme Court review if necessary.