TikTok is suing Montana after the US state passed a law banning the video-sharing app from personal devices.
TikTok filed a lawsuit on Monday arguing the ban is an “unconstitutional” violation of free speech and is based on “unfounded speculation” that the Chinese government could access users’ data.
Montana became the first state in the US to ban the Chinese-owned app when it signed the bill into law last week.
The legislation makes it illegal for app stores to offer TikTok, but does not prevent people who already have the app from using it. It is due to take effect from 1 January 2024.
The state has faced questions about how the ban could be enforced and legal challenges were expected.
There are 200,000 TikTok users in Montana and 6,000 businesses using the platform, according to TikTok spokesperson Jamal Brown.
TikTok’s lawsuit says the ban violates a “federal preemption”, meaning matters of national security and foreign affairs are carried out by the federal government rather than individual states.
TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese tech company ByteDance, has been under intense scrutiny over concerns it could hand over user data to the Chinese government or push pro-Beijing propaganda and misinformation on the platform.