The Chinese-owned social media app, TikTok, is set to be banned on all devices used by government ministers and civil servants in the UK. Cabinet Office Minister, Oliver Dowden, is expected to make an announcement to MPs later today confirming the ban.
TikTok has been under scrutiny for allegedly handing users’ data to the Chinese government, a claim that the company strongly denies. The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre has been reviewing the app and whether it should be barred from government phones, following the lead of the United States and the European Commission, who have already banned the app. Canada and Belgium have taken similar action.
Pressure has been mounting on the UK government to take action, with senior MPs calling for the ban. TikTok has responded to the proposed ban, stating that previous bans were based on “misplaced fears and seemingly driven by wider geopolitics”. The company added that it would be “disappointed by such a move” in the UK.
This ban will apply to all government devices, including those used by ministers and civil servants. There has been no official comment from the government, but the announcement is expected to confirm the ban on TikTok on all devices. This move is part of wider concerns around national security and the use of Chinese technology in sensitive areas.