AUCKLAND (AFP): New Zealand will ban Chinese-owned social media app TikTok from lawmakers’ devices, officials told AFP Friday, becoming the latest Western nation to act on security fears about the platform.
TikTok will be banned on all devices with access to the parliamentary network, Parliamentary Service chief executive Rafael Gonzalez-Montero said.
The ban will start from March 31.
Gonzalez-Montero said the risks were “not acceptable in the current New Zealand Parliamentary environment”.
“This decision has been made based on our own experts’ analysis and following discussion with our colleagues across government and internationally,” he added.
New Zealand joins Canada, Britain and the United States in banning the popular app from government-issued devices amid cyber security concerns that data could be viewed by officials in Beijing.
The European Commission has also ordered TikTok struck from their employees’ devices.
Global action against TikTok kicked off in earnest in India in 2020.
It was among the Chinese apps barred after deadly clashes on the border between India and China, with New Delhi saying it was defending its sovereignty.
That same year, US President Donald Trump accused TikTok of spying for China.
TikTok has admitted ByteDance employees in China accessed details of US accounts but it has always denied turning over data to the Chinese authorities.
Current US president Joe Biden has threatened to ban the app outright unless TikTok separates from ByteDance.