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World News

Here are the countries that ban TikTok

LONDON — A growing number of countries in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific have banned popular video-sharing app TikTok from government devices as privacy and cybersecurity concerns mount. A handful banned the app completely.

The company’s CEO faced a grilling from U.S. lawmakers on Thursday. TikTok, which is owned by Chinese tech company Bytedance, has long maintained that it does not share data with the Chinese government.

The company talks about a project it’s running to store US users’ data in the United States, which it says will put it out of China’s reach. It also disputes accusations that it collects more user data than other social media companies and insists that it is independently run by its own management.

But many governments remain cautious about the platform and its ties to China. Here are the places that have implemented partial or full bans on TikTok:


Afghan Taliban leaders banned TikTok and the game PUBG in 2022 on the grounds of protecting young people from “being misled”.


Belgium has temporarily banned TikTok from devices owned or paid for by the federal government, citing concerns about cybersecurity, privacy and misinformation. Prime Minister Alexander de Croo said the six-month ban was based on warnings from the state security service and its cybersecurity center.


Canada has announced that government-issued devices must not use TikTok, saying it poses an “unacceptable” risk to privacy and security. Employees will also be blocked from downloading the app in the future.


The Danish Ministry of Defense has banned its employees from having TikTok on their work phones, ordering staff members who installed it to remove the app from devices as soon as possible. The ministry said the reasons for the ban included both “significant security considerations” as well as “a very limited business need to use the app”.


The European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council of the EU, the three main institutions of the 27-member bloc, have imposed bans on TikTok on staff devices. As part of the European Parliament’s ban, which took effect on Monday, lawmakers and staff were also told to remove the TikTok app from their personal devices.


India imposed a nationwide ban on TikTok and dozens of other Chinese apps, including messaging app WeChat, in 2020 over privacy and security concerns. The ban came shortly after a clash between Indian and Chinese troops at a disputed border in the Himalayas killed 20 Indian troops and injured dozens.

Companies were given the opportunity to answer questions about privacy and security requirements, but the ban was made permanent in January 2021.


New Zealand lawmakers and National Parliament staff will be banned from having the TikTok app on their work phones, on the advice of government cybersecurity experts. Under the ban, which will take effect at the end of March, the app will be removed from all devices with access to the parliamentary network, although officials can make special arrangements for anyone who needs TikTok to carry out their duties. democratic functions.


Norway’s parliament banned Tiktok on work devices on Thursday, after the country’s justice ministry warned that the app should not be installed on phones issued to government employees. The Speaker of Parliament said TikTok should not be on devices with access to assembly systems and should be removed as soon as possible. The country’s capital Oslo and second-largest city Bergen have also urged city workers to remove TikTok from their work phones.


Pakistani authorities have temporarily banned TikTok at least four times since October 2020, citing concerns that the app promotes unethical content.


In December 2022, Taiwan imposed a public sector ban on TikTok after the FBI warned that TikTok posed a national security risk. Government devices, including cellphones, tablets and desktop computers, are not allowed to use software made in China, which includes apps like TikTok, its Chinese equivalent Douyin, or Xiaohongshu, a content app from Chinese lifestyle.


In mid-March, UK authorities banned TikTok on mobile phones used by ministers and civil servants with immediate effect. Officials said the ban was a “precautionary measure” for security reasons and does not apply to personal devices. Britain’s Parliament followed that up on Thursday by announcing a ban on TikTok from all official devices and the “wider parliamentary network”. The semi-autonomous Scottish government also said on Thursday it was banning TikTok from official devices, effective immediately.


In early March, the United States gave government agencies 30 days to remove TikTok from federal devices and systems due to data security concerns. The ban only applies to government devices, although some US lawmakers are pushing for an outright ban. China has blasted the United States for banning TikTok, describing the ban as an abuse of state power and suppressing companies from other countries. More than half of the 50 US states have also banned the app on official devices, as have Congress and the US Armed Forces.

ABC News

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