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TikTok Appoints New Legal Counsel to Oppose US Sell-Off Bill

As it gears up for a range of legal battles in the U.S., in opposition to the U.S. Goverment’s enforced sell-off push, TikTok’s parent company ByteDance has appointed veteran lawyer John Rogovin as its Global General Counsel to help head up its defense.

Rogovin has previously worked for Warner Bros., where he served as the company’s top legal representative for over a decade, while he’s also worked with the US Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department, in varying capacity.

As per TikTok:

“We are very happy to welcome John to our leadership team. He joins us with vast experience and expertise from his roles in public service, distinguished law firms, and as a leader in the entertainment industry. John brings strong legal instinct and a proven track record of successfully leading global teams that I know we will benefit from greatly as a company.”

Rogovin will now join forces with TikTok’s previous senior legal counsel Erich Andersen, who stepped down from the role back in April in order to take on a new position as “special counsel” to the company. At the time, TikTok explained that Andersen’s main focus would be “helping to drive the company’s effort to overturn the unconstitutional ban legislation in the U.S.”, though how involved he’ll be, now that Rogovin has come on board, remains to be seen.

TikTok has the fight of its life on its hands as it seeks to overturn the U.S. Government’s imposed sell-off, which was approved by the U.S. Senate based on the potential threat posed by a Chinese company having so much influence on U.S. citizens.

And while the ruling is for a sell-off, not a ban, TikTok’s labeling it as an effective ban either way, because it claims that it can’t possibly separate its company in line with the U.S. Government’s requirements.

Which will likely mean that it’ll be gone from the U.S. as of January next year, unless it’s somehow able to overturn the bill.

ByteDance filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Appeals last month, arguing that the proposed action violates the U.S. Constitution, as well as the First Amendment rights of U.S. citizens. But because the U.S. Government is acting on foreign security grounds, legal experts anticipate that the sell-off push will still go ahead, which would give TikTok till early next year to align with the order, or leave the U.S.

Rogovin’s taking on a tough legal challenge, and one which will put him at odds with U.S. Government officials, so presumably, he is confident that there’s viable grounds for appeal.

Which could see TikTok avoid a ban yet, though there’s a lot of legal ground to go before we have a definitive answer on this front.

Either way, the official appointment of a defense team is a positive step for ByteDance.

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