TikTok attorneys cited free speech and due process rights violations during a telephone court hearing on Sunday.

Mr Trump’s restriction was initially set to start at midnight Sunday.

John Hall, an attorney for TikTok, likened the platform to a “modern day version of the town square”.

He added that banning it would go against free speech.

Judge Carl Nichols of the US District Court for the District of Columbia, placed the hold on President Trump’s decree in a last-minute decision.

TikTok released a statement welcoming Judge Nichols’ order.

A TikTok spokesman said: “We will continue defending our rights for the benefit of our community and employees.

“At the same time, we will also maintain our ongoing dialogue with the government to turn our proposal, which the President gave his preliminary approval to last weekend, into an agreement.”

TikTok’s lawyers claimed in court papers that Mr Trump’s ban was motivated by “political-related animus” for “political campaign fodder.”

On Sunday, Mr Hall said: “It would be no different than the government locking the doors to a public forum, roping off that town square.

“Telling two-thirds of the country, who are not members of this community, that you’re not going to be permitted in.

“The government would be taking this extraordinary action at the very time that the need for free, open and accessible communication in America is at its zenith — 37 days before a national election.”

US Department of Justice lawyer Daniel Schwei refuted TikTok’s free speech allegations, adding that they are “completely irrelevant” to Mr Trump’s measures.

Mr Shwei said: “The concern here is about data security risk and leaving data vulnerable to access by the Chinese government.

“This is the most immediate national security threat. It is a threat today.”

This is a breaking story. More updates to follow…



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