The European Union, Canada and the United States prohibited the use of the social network, at least on their devices for official use. TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese company that has moved its headquarters to Singapore and has been the target of critics who say Beijing could illegally access user data and use it to its advantage.
The European Parliament is the latest in a long list of institutions that, in less than a week, have decided to ban the Chinese app for sharing short videos from their staff’s phones for security reasons.
The European Commission and the Council of the European Union censored TikTok on staff phones last week, underscoring growing concerns about the company owned by Chinese firm ByteDance and its possible use by the Chinese government to collect user data. users and promote their own interests.
The use of the social network was already limited in the devices of official use of all the federal employees of the United States and Canada adopted a similar decision on Monday, after India also did it. But what is the West afraid of?
TikTok accused of trying to push pro-China narratives
TikTok is used by two-thirds of American teens and has become one of the most popular domains in the world. However, both the FBI and the US Federal Communications Commission warned that its owner ByteDance could share user data with the Chinese government.
There are also concerns that the company may be sending large amounts of user data to China, in breach of strict European privacy regulations.
There has even been concern about the content of TikTok and questions have arisen about whether it harms the mental health of adolescents. But Beijing has repeatedly denied having any such intentions.
Mao Ning, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, told a press conference on Tuesday that “the United States, the world’s number one superpower, is so afraid of a mobile phone application that young people love so much, that it lacks completely confident in himself.”
He added that “we strongly oppose the misguided American approach of overstretching the concept of national security, abusing national power and unreasonably suppressing companies from other countries.”
TikTok, for its part, assured through an email known to the AP agency that “it is curious that the Government of Canada has moved to block TikTok on government devices without citing any specific security problems or contacting us with questions.”
With AP and Reuters