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These are the countries where TikTok is already banned

Associate Press April 27,2024 - 08:47 AM

The TikTok logo is displayed on a mobilephone in front of a computer screen, Oct. 14, 2022, in Boston. TikTok is gearing up for a legal fight against a U.S. law that would force the social media platform to break ties with its China-based parent company or face a ban. A battle in the courts will almost certainly be backed by Chinese authorities as the bitter U.S.-China rivalry threatens the future of a wildly popular way for young Americans to connect online.

FILE- The TikTok logo is displayed on a mobile phone in front of a computer screen, Oct. 14, 2022, in Boston. TikTok is gearing up for a legal fight against a U.S. law that would force the social media platform to break ties with its China-based parent company or face a ban. A battle in the courts will almost certainly be backed by Chinese authorities as the bitter U.S.-China rivalry threatens the future of a wildly popular way for young Americans to connect online. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

LONDON (AP) — TikTok is in the crosshairs of authorities in the U.S., where new law threatens a nationwide ban unless its China-based parent ByteDance divests. It would be the biggest blow yet to the popular video-sharing app, which has faced various restrictions around the world.

TikTok is already banned in a handful of countries and from government-issued devices in a number of others, due to official worries that the app poses privacy and cybersecurity concerns.

Those fears are reflected in the U.S. law, which is the culmination of long-held bipartisan fears in Washington that China’s communist leaders could force ByteDance to hand over U.S. user data, or influence Americans by suppressing or promoting certain content. TikTok has long maintained that it doesn’t share data with the Chinese government and its CEO has taken a defiant stance, vowing to fight back.

Here are the places that have partial or total bans on TikTok:


TikTok has been banned since 2022, along with videogame PUBG, after the country’s Taliban leadership decided to forbid access on the grounds of protecting young people from “being misled.”


TikTok is not allowed on devices issued by the Australian federal government. Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said he made the decision after getting advice from the country’s intelligence and security agencies.

READ: US House votes for possible TikTok ban if Chinese owners don’t sell


The National Security Council decided last month to indefinitely ban TikTok from devices owned or paid for by the federal government. The ban was issued on a temporary basis last year on worries about cybersecurity, privacy and misinformation. Prime Minister Alexander de Croo said it was based on warnings from the country’s state security service and cybersecurity center.


TikTok has never been available in mainland China, a fact that CEO Shou Chew has mentioned in testimony to U.S. lawmakers. ByteDance instead offers Chinese users Douyin, a similar video-sharing app that follows Beijing’s strict censorship rules. TikTok also ceased operations in Hong Kong after a sweeping Chinese national security law took effect.


Denmark’s Defense Ministry banned its employees from having TikTok on their work phones, ordering staffers who have installed it to remove the app from devices as soon as possible. The ministry said the reasons for the ban included both “weighty security considerations” as well as “very limited work-related need to use the app.”


The European Parliament, European Commission and the EU Council, the 27-member bloc’s three main institutions, have imposed bans on TikTok on staff devices. Under the European Parliament’s ban, lawmakers and staff were also advised to remove the TikTok app from their personal devices.


“Recreational” use of TikTok and other social media apps like Twitter and Instagram on government employees’ phones has been banned because of worries about insufficient data security measures. The French government didn’t name specific apps but noted the decision came after other governments took measures targeting TikTok.


India imposed a nationwide ban on TikTok and dozens of other Chinese apps like 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 Himalayan border killed 20 Indian soldiers and injured dozens. The companies were given a chance to respond to questions on privacy and security requirements but the ban was made permanent in 2021.


TikTok isn’t entirely banned in the sprawling, populous Southeast Asian nation, only its online retail function, after the authorities clamped down on e-commerce transactions carried out on social media platforms in a bid to protect small businesses.


Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics tweeted that he deleted his TikTok account and that the app is also prohibited from official foreign ministry smartphones.



The Dutch central government banned apps including TikTok from employee work phones citing data security concerns. A government statement did not name TikTok specifically but said civil servants are discouraged from having apps “from countries with an offensive cyber program against the Netherlands and/or Dutch interests installed and used on their mobile work devices.”


The Himalayan country imposed a nationwide ban on TikTok, saying it was disrupting “social harmony” and goodwill and blaming it for a “flow of indecent materials.” Authorities ordered the telecom company to block access to the app.


Lawmakers in New Zealand and staff at the nation’s Parliament are prohibited from having the TikTok app on their work phones, following advice from government cybersecurity experts. The app was removed from all devices with access to the parliamentary network, although officials can make special arrangements for anybody who needs TikTok to perform their democratic duties.


The Norwegian parliament banned Tiktok on work devices after the country’s Justice Ministry warned the app shouldn’t be installed on phones issued to government employees. The Parliament’s speaker said TikTok shouldn’t be on devices that have access to the assembly’s systems and should be removed as quickly as possible. The country’s capital Oslo and second largest city Bergen also urged municipal employees to remove TikTok from their work phones.


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


The government ordered telecom companies to block access to TikTok, along with messaging app Telegram and gambling platform 1XBET. Officials said they were concerned that the platforms could spread extremist content, nude images and other material seen as offensive to Somali culture and Islam.


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


British authorities banned TikTok from mobile phones used by government ministers and civil servants. Officials said the ban was a “precautionary move” on security grounds and doesn’t apply to personal devices. The British Parliament followed up by banning TikTok from all official devices and the “wider parliamentary network.” The semi-autonomous Scottish government and London City Hall also banned TikTok from staff devices. The BBC urged staff to delete TikTok from corporate devices unless they’re using it for editorial and marketing reasons.


U.S. authorities ordered government agencies to delete TikTok from federal devices and systems over data security concerns. More than half of the 50 U.S. states also have banned the app from official devices, as have Congress and the U.S. armed forces. Montana’s efforts to bring in a state-wide ban failed, as did a proposal in Virginia to block kids from using it.


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TAGS: ban, countries, social media, TikTok, Tiktok video

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