Washington DC: A judge in Washington, DC late on Sunday temporarily blocked a controversial order by the Trump administration that was set to bar downloads of the popular Chinese-owned short video app TikTok at 11:59 pm (03:59 GMT on Monday).

District Judge Carl Nichols, a nominee of President Donald Trump who joined the court last year, said he was issuing a temporary injunction at the request of TikTok, which the White House has accused of being a threat to national security.

The opinion was sealed, so no reason for the decision was released in a one-page order by the court in Washington.

The Trump administration order sought to ban new downloads of the app from midnight (0400 GMT Monday) but would allow the use of TikTok until November 12, when all usage would be blocked. The judge denied TikTok's request to suspend the November 12 ban.

Nichols heard arguments on the free-speech and national security implications of the Trump ban on the Chinese-owned app in a rare Sunday telephone hearing.

TikTok lawyer John Hall said a ban would be "punitive" and close off a public forum used by tens of millions of Americans.

In a written brief filed ahead of the hearing, TikTok lawyers said the ban was "arbitrary and capricious" and "would undermine data security" by blocking updates and fixes to the app used by some 100 million Americans.

ByteDance said last week it had reached a preliminary deal for Walmart and Oracle to take stakes in a new company, TikTok Global, that would oversee US operations. Negotiations continue over the terms of the agreement and to resolve concerns in both Washington and Beijing.

The deal is still to be reviewed by the US government’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).