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TikTok is banned in 16 countries
TikTok is banned in 16 countries – The TikTok Shop platform has officially ceased its operations in Indonesia as of Thursday, October 4, 2023. This shutdown is a direct response to the Indonesian government’s new regulations that restrict social media from engaging in e-commerce activities, a concept known as “social commerce.” These regulations were outlined in the revised Minister of Trade Regulation No. 50 of 2023, which was published on September 26, 2023. This regulation explicitly stipulates that social media platforms are only permitted to promote goods and services, excluding direct transactions and payments.
In a statement, TikTok expressed its commitment to respecting and adhering to the laws and regulations in Indonesia. Consequently, they have discontinued facilitating e-commerce transactions within TikTok Shop Indonesia, effective from 4th October, 17:00 WIB. TikTok has also affirmed its intention to continue cooperating with the Indonesian government regarding future steps and plans.
Indonesia is not alone in its concerns about the TikTok platform. Several other countries have imposed bans on TikTok for various reasons, primarily centered around data security. Here’s a list of countries that have blocked TikTok’s presence, as reported by AP News:
The Taliban leadership in Afghanistan banned TikTok and the game PUBG in 2022 to protect the younger generation from potential negative influences.
The Australian federal government prohibited TikTok on government-issued devices following advice from intelligence and national security agencies.
Belgium temporarily banned TikTok on devices owned or paid for by the federal government, citing concerns related to cybersecurity, privacy, and misinformation. This six-month ban was based on warnings from the national security agency and the cybersecurity center.
Canada announced that government-issued devices would not be allowed to use TikTok due to privacy and security risks, and government employees were also prohibited from downloading the app.
The Danish Ministry of Defense banned its employees from using TikTok on their office mobile phones and instructed those who had already installed it to remove the app as soon as possible. This decision was made based on heavy security considerations and limited work-related needs for the app.
The European Parliament, the European Commission, and the European Council, the three main institutions of the 27-member EU, banned the use of TikTok on devices belonging to all staff members. Following the European Parliament’s ban, members of parliament and staff were also advised to delete TikTok from their personal devices.
The use of TikTok and other social media apps for recreational purposes on government officials’ mobile phones was prohibited in France due to data security concerns. The government did not specifically name any particular app but noted that the decision was taken following actions targeting TikTok by other governments.
India imposed a national ban on TikTok and dozens of other Chinese apps in 2020, citing privacy and security concerns. This ban followed a border conflict between India and China in the disputed Himalayan region, resulting in casualties on the Indian side. Chinese companies were given an opportunity to address privacy and security requirements, but the ban became permanent in January 2021.
Latvia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkevics, announced the deletion of his TikTok account, and the app was also banned on official smartphones at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The central government of the Netherlands banned apps like TikTok from employees’ office phones, citing data security concerns. The government did not mention TikTok by name but advised civil servants not to install and use apps from countries with cyber programs targeting the Netherlands and/or Dutch interests on their work mobile devices.
Members of parliament and staff in New Zealand were prohibited from using TikTok on their office phones, following the advice of government cybersecurity experts. The app would be removed from all devices with access to the parliamentary network, although officials could make special arrangements for those who required TikTok for work-related tasks.
The Norwegian Parliament banned TikTok from work devices after the Ministry of Justice warned that the app should not be installed on phones issued to government employees. The Speaker of the Parliament declared that TikTok should not be installed on devices with access to the parliamentary system and should be deleted as soon as possible. The capital, Oslo, and the second-largest city, Bergen, also urged city employees to remove TikTok from their office phones.
Authorities in Pakistan have temporarily banned TikTok at least four times since October 2020, citing concerns about the promotion of immoral content.
In December 2022, Taiwan implemented a ban on TikTok in the public sector after the FBI warned about the national security risks associated with TikTok. Government devices, including phones, tablets, and desktop computers, were prohibited from using software originating from China, which includes apps like TikTok and Xiaohongshu, a Chinese lifestyle content app.
In mid-March this year, UK authorities banned TikTok from phones used by government ministers and specific civil servants. Officials stated that the ban was a precautionary security measure and did not apply to personal devices. The UK Parliament extended the ban to all official devices and the wider parliamentary network. The semi-autonomous governments of Scotland and the City of London also banned TikTok from staff devices. The BBC encouraged its staff to delete TikTok from company devices, except when used for editorial and marketing purposes.
In early March the United States gave 30 days to remove TikTok from federal agencies and systems due to data security concerns. This ban applied exclusively to government devices, though some US lawmakers advocated for a direct ban. China criticized the US for banning TikTok, arguing that it constituted an abuse of state power and suppressed companies from other countries. More than half of the 50 US states also banned the app from official devices, as did the US Congress and the military.
These bans reflect growing global concerns about TikTok, particularly regarding data security and privacy, prompting various governments to take measures to safeguard their citizens and institutions.