Not only the US has TikTok between the eyes. The Chinese-owned short-video platform is being targeted by multiple governments and international institutions, with suspicions that Beijing authorities are spying on the data collected in this application.
To try to clarify these doubts, the executive director of TikTok, Shou Zi Chew, appeared this Thursday, for the first time, before a US congressional committee to speak about the platform’s policies, data privacy, its impact on minors and their ties to the Communist Party of China.
In these moments of geopolitical struggle, some Western governments and institutions they banned the app on their official phones from national security reasons.
Here are some key data
What is TikTok
TikTok is an application that allows you to make short videos with mobile devices with millions of views. The social network has become a favorite of many young people who use it, as well as as a distraction, as information search tool on daily matters or to keep up with the latest news.
It was launched in September 2016 by the Chinese company bytedance with the name Douyin. According to company data, as of January 2023, the platform had a potential reach of 1.051 million users20.4% of Internet users over the age of 18 and their advertisements reached 13.1% of the world’s population.
As far as TikTok downloads are concerned, it has been growing year by year. The first quarter of 2022 had 176 million downloads. With this, it has accumulated more than 3,500 million downloads worldwide since its launch, according to the American company Sensor Tower.
What’s the problem
But this success has been accompanied by the concerns of Western countries who fear that ByteDance may share the data of users of the social network with the Chinese government.
Something that is in contradiction with safety regulations, especially in Europe. Also, like other platforms, TikTok has also been accused offer content that may harm young people and adolescents.
United States of America
The first country to impose restrictions on the Chinese network was the United States in 2020, where it is estimated that two-thirds of their teens use it. In the midst of the tariff war with China, Donald Trump banned downloads of the app until its US subsidiary was sold to a domestic company.
The order was withdrawn by his successor, Joe Biden, who however he called for an investigation about the security risks posed by the network. In December 2022 the US Senate Government employees prohibited federal the use of the application on official devices.
The use of the application has been banned since February 27th phones that the Canadian government provide to your staff.
On February 23, the European Commission and the Council of the EU banned their employees install or use the application on official devices to further strengthen information security measures.
The Ministry of Defence TikTok has banned its employees on official phones on March 6.
On March 2, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs imposed a ban on using the application in electronic work devices.
On March 16, London has banned TikTok on official cell phones by the government for security reasons.
As of March 21, work phone numbers received from government officials must be configured so that only the file pre-approved questions, avoiding those “sensitive to spying” such as the social network TikTok.
In Asian countries like it India, Taiwan, Pakistan and Afghanistan They also ended the use of the Chinese social network. Since 2020 Pakistani authorities have banned its use because they consider it immoral, the same thing Afghanistan did in April 2022.
The Indian case it is related to security. The ban of Tik Tok and other Chinese apps like WeChat came in 2020 after clashes between Indian and Chinese troops on the border between the two countries.
Taiwan did so in December 2022, when it banned its use for reasons of national security. The veto reached mobile phones, tablets and personal computers on which software of Chinese origin could not be used, including TikTok.
Finally the New Zealand Parliament has announced the ban on the use of TikTok in all electronic devices connected to the Legislative network of Wellington from next March 31 for IT security reasons.
Mary Ortiz is a seasoned journalist with a passion for world events. As a writer for News Rebeat, she brings a fresh perspective to the latest global happenings and provides in-depth coverage that offers a deeper understanding of the world around us.