Montana has become the first US state to ban Chinese-owned short videos app TikTiok. As per the decision, the US state makes it illegal for Google and Apple app stores to offer TikTok to users within the state. The ban is a part of efforts by the US to crackdown on the Bytedance-run app citing security concerns.
In March this year, Congress members had alleged that the Xi Jinping regime has a ‘golden share’ in TikTok’s parent company Bytedance. The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s director Chris Wray in November had claimed that TikTok poses a national security risk, adding that the Chinese companies are required to do whatever the Chinese regime wants them in terms of sharing information.
But the US is not the only country which has banned or is mulling to ban TikTok. In the past two-three years, several countries have banned the Chinese app over security concerns.
India: In 2020, the Narendra Modi government had banned 59 apps, mostly Chinese, including TikTok citing concerns that these are ‘prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order’. The ban was imposed days after Indian and Chinese troops had clashed in Galwan Valley.
Pakistan: The Pakistani government has temporarily banned TikTok at least four times since October 2020, citing ‘immoral content’ being promoted on the app.
Canada: On February 28, the Canadian government announced it was banning TikTok on all government-issued mobile devices. “I suspect that as government takes the significant step of telling all federal employees that they can no longer use TikTok on their work phones many Canadians from business to private individuals will reflect on the security of their own data and perhaps make choices,” Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau had said.
United Kingdom: On March 16, the British government banned the Chinese-owned app from government mobile phones on security grounds. Cabinet office minister Oliver Dowden said that the ban applied with immediate effect to to work phones and other devices used by government ministers and civil servants. He described the ban as a “precautionary move,” and said it does not apply to personal phones and devices.
Australia: On April 4, Australia banned TikTok from its government devices. The country’s attorney general Mark Dreyfus had said that the ban would come into effect.
European Union: In February this year, the European Union said it has temporarily banned TikTok from phones used by its employees as a cybersecurity measure. The Corporate Management Board suspended the use of TikTok on devices issued to staff or personal devices that staff use for work.
France: The French government in March announced a ban on the ‘recreational’ use of TikTok, Twitter, Instagram and other apps on government employees’ phones due to concern about insufficient data security measures. French Minister for Transformation and Public Administration, Stanislas Guerini, said in a statement that ’’recreational″ apps aren’t secure enough to be used in state administrative services and ”could present a risk for the protection of data.”
Netherlands: In March, the Dutch government moved to stop central government employees having apps including TikTok installed on their work phones. “For civil servants employed by the national government, it is immediately discouraged to have apps from countries with an offensive cyber program against the Netherlands and/or Dutch interests installed and used on their mobile work devices,” the government said in a statement.
Denmark: The Danish government banned its staffers from having the Chinese app on their work phones, ordering them to remove it from their devices as soon as possible. The defence ministry cited ‘weighty security considerations’ and ‘very limited work-related need to use the app’.
New Zealand: The lawmakers and staff at the island nation’s Parliament on March 17 were barred from having TikTok on their work phones following advice from government cybersecurity experts.
Norway: The country’s parliament on March 23 banned TikTok on work devices following the justice ministry’s warning which asked that the app should not be installed on phones issued to government employees.