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.
According to Parliamentary Service chief executive Rafael Gonzalez-Montero, TikTok will be prohibited on all devices that have access to the parliamentary network starting from March 31 due to cybersecurity concerns.
“The decision was based on a risk analysis conducted by their own experts, as well as consultations with colleagues in the government and internationally,” he added.
New Zealand is joins the footsteps of Canada, Britain, and the United States, which have also banned the app on government-issued devices due to concerns that Beijing officials may access data.
The European Commission has likewise directed its employees to remove TikTok from their devices.
The ban on TikTok began in India in 2020 after Chinese apps were prohibited following border clashes with New Delhi saying it was defending its sovereignty.
US President Donald Trump accused TikTok of spying for China in the same year.
While TikTok admitted that ByteDance employees in China accessed US account information, it denied disclosing data to the Chinese authorities.
Current US President Joe Biden has warned that he will ban the app entirely unless it separates from ByteDance.