TikTok has been making headlines as of late, but not for reasons pertaining to the content on the app. Instead, several governments across the globe have been looking into the app’s origins and even calling for bans in some cases. Currently, TikTok is in something of a state of limbo in a lot of regions as different governments work on creating litigation and inspecting its roots. Recently, the U.S. held a congressional hearing with TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew over privacy and security concerns — causing many citizens to wonder if the app will be banned as many representatives are calling for.
Here’s what you need to know about every country in the world that’s banned the app, introduced restrictions for it, or is currently considering one of the two.
Since taking control of the government last year, the Taliban has restricted media content in the country that it deems to be unfit for its citizens, with TikTok being one of them, despite there being several notable Afghani TikTok influencers such as @mr_kareem who boasts over 2 million followers. According to BBC, Taliban spokesman Inamullah Samangani stated that the ban is meant to “prevent the younger generation from being misled.”
For regular Australian citizens, TikTok is still available to be used freely, however, members of the Australian government are not allowed to have the app downloaded on any official government devices. This comes as a result of the security concerns raised by NATO which also banned the app from all official NATO devices.
Belgium’s citizens are allowed to use TikTok freely, but like many countries on this list, the app is banned from any official government devices as is the case with most European countries.
In February, Canada banned TikTok from all government devices but still allows its citizens to use it freely. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the ban could be the first step to larger conversations surrounding cyber security in both personal and governmental settings.
While not a full ban for all government employees, Denmark’s Defense Ministry banned TikTok from their staff’s devices. Regular Danish citizen use of the app has gone unaffected.
Unlike many of the countries on this list, India has completely banned TikTok for all of its citizens. The ban came in 2020 following the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers at the hands of Chinese soldiers along the often-disputed Himalayan border. After the confrontation, the Indian government banned 59 Chinese-based apps that it feels pose a threat to the “integrity of India.”
After tweeting that he was going to delete his TikTok account, Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkēvičs announced a ban on any Latvian devices that have been set up with ministry email accounts.
There currently are no official bans on TikTok in the Netherlands, however, government officials have been “immediately discouraged” from having the app on their devices that contain sensitive information.
As other countries began banning TikTok for their government employees, New Zealand followed suit announcing that the app should be deleted from all government devices. New Zealand citizens are still free to use the app.
Both TikTok and Telegram were banned by the Norwegian government for all government employees citing Russia and China as “the main risk factors for Norway’s security interests.” Norwegian citizens are still free to continue using the app.
TikTok has been banned from the public in Pakistan multiple times, however, each ban has only been temporary. Despite the Pakistani government claims that the app is “detrimental to the youth” of the country, it seems to flip back and forth as to whether or not it should be restricted.
While there’s much overlap in government between Scottland and the U.K., the Scottish government announced that TikTok was banned on all staff devices. Citizens can still freely use the app,
Taiwan has something of a long and complicated history with China and in December 2022, the government banned TikTok along with all other Chinese-made apps from its citizens’ devices.
The U.K. banned TikTok from all devices used by government employees as well as from devices from the “wider parliamentary network.” Citizens remain unaffected by the ban.
Federal employees of the U.S. government have been banned from having TikTok on their devices. For state employees, the ban varies from state to state, but citizens in all states currently have free access to the app.
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