TikTok users sue Montana to block its ban of the video-sharing app

TikTok users in Montana have filed a lawsuit to block the US state's ban on the popular video-sharing app, which is owned by a Chinese company.

The five residents took the action hours after Montana Governor Greg Gianforte signed the measure into law on Wednesday, citing fears of user information being shared with the Chinese Communist Party. The ban is the first such legislation in the United States.

The lawsuit was filed against Montana's attorney general, Austin Knudsen, with the federal district court there.

The plaintiffs include a small business owner and an internet influencer. They argue that limiting the use of the app violates the constitutional right of free speech.

Unless the law is overturned, it will take effect in January.

In March, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew spoke at a US Congressional committee and denied that any user data has ever been handed over to the Chinese authorities.

However, the testimony failed to ease concerns held by US lawmakers about possible information leaks. Discussions are making headway toward curbing the use of the app by the general public nationwide.