HONG KONG (AP) — The United States and Canada issued orders this week banning the use of TikTok on government-issued mobile devices such as privacy and cybersecurity concerns about the growth of the video-sharing app.
TikTok, owned by the Chinese company Bytedance, has long maintained that it does not share data with the Chinese government and that its data is not stored in China. It also disputes allegations that it collects more user data than other social media companies and insists that its own management manages it independently.
But many countries remain cautious about the platform and its ties to China. These are the countries and regions that have implemented partial or total bans on TikTok:
India imposed a ban on TikTok and dozens of other Chinese apps, including the WeChat messaging app, in 2020 for privacy and security concerns. The ban came shortly after a clash between Indian and Chinese troops on a disputed Himalayan border that killed 20 Indian soldiers and injured dozens.
The companies were given the opportunity to answer questions about privacy and security requirements, but the ban was made permanent in January 2021.
In December 2022, Taiwan imposed a ban on TikTok in the public sector after the FBI warned that TikTok 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.
This week, the US said that government agencies have 30 days to delete TikTok of federal devices and systems for data security issues. The ban applies only to government devices, although some US lawmakers advocate an outright ban. China has lashed out at the United States for banning TikTok, describing the ban as an abuse of state power and cracking down on companies from other countries. More than half of the 50 US states have also banned the app of government devices.
After the US announcement Canada announced Monday Government-issued devices should not use TikTok, saying it presents an “unacceptable” risk to privacy and security. Employees will also not be able to download the app in the future.
The European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council of the EU, the three main bodies of the EU, have imposed TikTok bans on staff devices. The European Parliament ban, announced on Tuesday, takes effect on March 20. It has recommended lawmakers and staff remove the app from their personal devices.
Pakistani authorities have temporarily banned TikTok at least four times since October 2020, citing concerns that the app promotes immoral content.
Afghanistan’s Taliban leadership banned TikTok and the game PUBG in 2022 on the grounds of protecting young people from “being cheated.”