US Orders Government Agency Employees to Delete TikTok

By Lars James Hamer, March 1, 2023

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On Monday, the United States told government agencies that they had 30 days to ensure that employees do not have the Chinese-owned TikTok app installed on their federal devices. 

The White House, the Departments of Defence and Homeland Security have already banned the app and similar moves have been seen in the EU.

Canada announced that TikTok would also be removed from all government-issued mobile devices from Tuesday. 

The move comes amid growing concern in the West about the short video app which is owned by Bytedance. 

In the past, TikTok has faced allegations of data collection which is then fed to the Chinese government. 

The US and other countries are concerned that if the app is downloaded on federal devices sensitive government information could be leaked.

Bytedance responded to these allegations by stating that they operate no differently from other social media companies. 

China has accused the US of “overreacting” and blasted the move as “typical rogue behavior.” The country also said it resolutely opposes the US’s generalizing concept of national security and that it is abusing state power to suppress non-American companies. 

"How unsure of itself can the world's top superpower be to fear an app for young people?" China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said.

In China, the social media apps Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram - which are also popular among young people - are banned.

Mao went on to urge the US to respect the principles of market economy and fair competition and to stop suppressing companies, as reported in China Daily

According to Statista, in January TikTok had more than 1 billion global users, 113.3 million of which are in the US, followed by Indonesia (110 million), Brazil (82.2 million) and Mexico (57.5 million). 

[Cover image via Wikimedia]

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