BEIJING– The US government has banned the Chinese-owned video sharing app TikTok that has exposed Washington’s own insecurity and an abuse of state power, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
The US government “overstretches the concept of national security and abuses state power to suppress companies in other countries,” Mao Ning said in a daily briefing. youth’s favorite app to such a degree?”
The White House gave all federal agencies, in guidance released Monday, 30 days to delete TikTok from all government devices. The White House no longer allows TikTok on its devices.
TikTok is used by two-thirds of American teenagers, but there is concern in Washington that China could use its legal and regulatory powers to obtain private user data or try to push out false information or narrative that favors China.
Congress and more than half of US states have banned TikTok from government-issued mobile devices.
Others have also moved to apply the ban to any app or website owned by ByteDance Ltd., the private Chinese company that owns TikTok and moved its headquarters to Singapore in 2020.
China has long blocked a long list of foreign social media platforms and messaging apps, including YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Washington and Beijing have clashed over a number of issues including trade, computer chips and other technology, national security and Taiwan, with the discovery of a suspected Chinese spy balloon in the US and its shooting down earlier this month.
On Monday, Canada announced it had joined the US in banning TikTok from all government-issued mobile devices.
“I suspect that as the government takes the important step of telling all federal employees that they can no longer use TikTok on their work phones many Canadians from businesses to private individuals will reflect on security of their own data and perhaps make choices,” Prime Canada. Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters after the announcement.
Canadian Treasury Board President Mona Fortier said Canada’s Chief Information Officer has determined that TikTok “presents an unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security.”
“On a mobile device, TikTok’s data collection methods provide extensive access to the phone’s contents,” Fortier said.
The app will be removed from Canadian government-issued phones on Tuesday.
The executive branch of the European Union said last week that TikTok was temporarily banned from phones used by employees as a cybersecurity measure.
TikTok has questioned the bans, saying it hasn’t been given a chance to answer questions and that governments are cutting themselves off from a platform loved by millions.