Governments and secret services have been trying for a while, and they’ve finally succeeded as the UK joined the growing list of countries banning TikTok from being installed on the official devices owned by government employees.
Other countries that have decided to ban the app include the EU, the US, New Zealand, Australia and Canada.
Fears have been growing that TikTok’s owner, ByteDance, would hand user’s data to another company or the Chinese government if ordered to do so.
Montana in the US became the first US state to announce the Ban, while France said it was banning government employees from using it recreationally. Now the UK has officially joined them.
Many of these countries were pressured to do so by their internal secret or cybersecurity services, which said that the app could extract personal and private data form these phones, as well as other sensitive information.
These accusations have been dealt with by TikTok on its “Project Clover ” initiative, which has attempted to reassure other countries that it will not harvest user’s data by keeping it in servers located in Norway and Ireland.
This has still not allayed some countries’ fears, and it appears that wider geopolitical affairs continue to influence attitudes towards the Chinese-owned company.
What other apps might be banned?
TikTok isn’t the only company to come under scrutiny for its extreme popularity. Other apps have also been targeted, and could be on the list of being banned.
This multi-purpose app, developed by Tencent, originated in China and has grown to become one of the world’s largest standalone mobile apps, boasting over a billion monthly active users. Launched in 2011, it offers a diverse array of features such as messaging, voice and video calls, social media sharing through “Moments,” official accounts for businesses and organisations, Mini Programs developed by third-party creators, and WeChat Pay, a popular digital wallet. While it is popular and integral to daily life in China, some features and functions may be limited or unavailable for users outside of the country. By integrating various services and communication tools, WeChat has revolutionised the way people interact and access resources in the country and beyond.