Belgium is banning TikTok from authorities telephones over worries about cybersecurity, privateness and misinformation, the nation’s prime minister mentioned Friday, mirroring latest motion by different authorities in Europe and the U.S.
The Chinese language-owned video sharing app can be briefly prohibited from gadgets owned or paid for by the Belgium’s federal authorities for at the very least six months, in keeping with a submit on Alexander de Croo’s web site.
TikTok mentioned it’s “disillusioned at this suspension, which is predicated on fundamental misinformation about our firm.” The corporate mentioned it’s “available to satisfy with officers to deal with any considerations and set the file straight on misconceptions.”
TikTok is owned by China’s ByteDance, which moved its headquarters to Singapore in 2020. The corporate sought to distance itself from its Chinese language roots, saying its father or mother firm is integrated outdoors of China and it’s majority owned by international institutional buyers.
However the European Union’s three predominant establishments and Denmark’s protection ministry have already ordered workers to take away the app from gadgets used for official enterprise. Related bans have been imposed in Canada and the U.S.
The tussle over TikTok is a part of a wider international rivalry between China and the U.S. and its Western allies over technological and financial supremacy.
De Croo mentioned Belgium’s ban was based mostly on warnings from the state safety service and its cybersecurity middle, which mentioned the app may harvest person knowledge and tweak algorithms to govern its information feed and content material.
Additionally they warned that TikTok may very well be compelled to hold out spying for Beijing, he mentioned, with out being extra particular.
“We’re in a brand new geopolitical context the place affect and surveillance between states have shifted to the digital world,” de Croo mentioned in a web-based assertion. “We should not be naive: TikTok is a Chinese language firm which immediately is obliged to cooperate with the intelligence providers. That is the truth. Prohibiting its use on federal service gadgets is frequent sense.”
TikTok mentioned person knowledge is saved within the U.S. and Singapore and pointed to new measures to ease European considerations by storing person knowledge in European knowledge facilities.
“The Chinese language authorities can not compel one other sovereign nation to offer knowledge saved in that nation’s territory,” the corporate mentioned in a press release.