Which countries have banned TikTok?

Governments across the globe, including federal governments in countries, have banned staff from using TikTok on their corporate phones, including international government bodies such as NATO and the European Commission. Due to concerns over cybersecurity and privacy, which are largely connected to ByteDance’s ties to the Chinese government, several countries have implemented some level of restriction on the app. This ban is not only limited to Asia, Europe, and North America but extends beyond. A recent congressional hearing with TikTok CEO Chew Zi Shou has sparked headlines, with a looming ban in the United States.

These are the nations that have implemented partial or complete prohibitions on the application.

Afghanistan

As reported by Bloomberg, the Taliban issued a prohibition on TikTok in Afghanistan in April 2022, citing that the content of the platform “did not align with Islamic regulations”.

Australia

On 4 April, the Attorney-General of the Department of Home Affairs, Mark Dreyfus, raised security concerns and cited the need to ban the app from all government-owned federal devices in Australia as quickly as possible.

Belgium

The Chinese company mandated to TikTok must collaborate with Chinese intelligence services: “We cannot be ignorant,” stated Prime Minister Alexander De Croo in a Politico statement. Government officials are making phone calls regarding the TikTok ban in Belgium.

Canada

In February this year, Canada prohibited TikTok from all government mobile devices, imitating other nations. According to Mona Fortier, President of the Treasury Board, the application poses “an intolerable degree of danger to privacy and security,” clarifying the restricted prohibition.

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In a statement, she mentioned that the choice to eliminate and prohibit TikTok from government mobile devices is being implemented as a preventive measure, especially considering worries regarding the legal framework that regulates the data obtained from mobile devices. This decision aligns with the strategy of our global allies.

Denmark

The Ministry of Defense in Denmark has banned employees from using TikTok on their devices, as it was found that the app had been downloaded and used. Staffers were instructed to remove the app as soon as possible, following an assessment by the country’s Cyber Security Center that considered security concerns.

India

India is the largest country in the world to place a blanket ban on apps. The government has ordered a ban on the app after a deadly clash between Chinese and Indian military forces on the border. In order to ensure the security of the public and the state, as well as the defense, integrity, and sovereignty of India, the government has implemented a nationwide ban on 58 other Chinese apps and TikTok, following India’s moves against TikTok in 2020.

Holland

A spokesperson for the general affairs ministry informed Politico that the suggestion is being subjected to reduced monitoring in the Netherlands, but it aligns with the policies of various other government service organizations. Dutch officials have been instructed to refrain from utilizing TikTok, although it does not amount to a complete prohibition.

Aotearoa

Following an examination of the activities of different European countries, the New Zealand parliament announced a ban on the utilization of TikTok on all devices possessed by its personnel.

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Rafael Gonzalez-Montero, the executive in charge of parliamentary services, issued a statement on behalf of the government, which stated, “After analyzing the insights of our own specialists and engaging in discussions with our peers both domestically and internationally, this determination has been made.” Taking into consideration this information, the Service has concluded that the risks are deemed unacceptable within the present setting of the New Zealand Parliament.

Norway

Prior to the prohibition, Mehl encountered a considerable amount of scrutiny due to her use of TikTok on her work phone. “According to the country’s justice minister Emilie Enger Mehl, the Norwegian intelligence services identify Russia and China as the primary threats to Norway’s security interests,” stated Mehl in a statement. In March, the Norwegian Parliament implemented a ban on TikTok for government devices, but civil servants are still permitted to use the app on their personal devices for professional purposes.

Somalia

In August 2023, the government of Somalia issued a ban on TikTok due to concerns about the dissemination of terror-related content. The government stated that terrorist groups were using platforms like Telegram and TikTok to spread misinformation and share disturbing images.

Taiwan

Government devices in Taiwan were prohibited from utilizing software made in China, including TikTok, in December 2022.

UK

Oliver Dowden, the Cabinet office minister, mentioned that the European Commission, as well as the governments of the U.S. And Canada, were referenced as implementing comparable limitations. In a statement, he clarified that the government’s choice “aligns with equivalent restrictions imposed by important international allies”. After assessments conducted by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, British government officials have been prohibited from utilizing TikTok on their work phones and devices.

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Given the potentially sensitive nature of the information stored on government devices, a precautionary ban on TikTok is being introduced and the government’s policy on the management of third-party applications will be strengthened.

USA

The future of TikTok remains a question in America. The company’s “Texas Project” is an initiative to protect user data in the United States, and in recent testimony before Congress, CEO Chew Zi Shou defended the app. The White House has asked staff to delete the TikTok app from their devices, as it does not allow data access from government phones. Federal agencies are also being questioned about whether they should use the app. However, the United States has never placed a nationwide restriction on the app. In March, the U.S. Demanded that Bytedance, the company that owns TikTok, sell the app or face a total ban in the country. In short, the situation is complicated.

The bill passed by the House Representatives of Montana on May 17th would have significant consequences, including a statewide ban on TikTok usage. If the governor signs the bill into law, it could potentially make the app illegal, leading to a ban on TikTok in the state.

Here’s all the information you require regarding the potential prohibition of TikTok in the United States.

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