After the US and EU, Belgium bans TikTok on government phones

BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgium is banning TikTok from government phones over worries about cybersecurity, privacy and misinformation, the country’s prime minister said Friday, mirroring recent action by other authorities Both in Europe and the U.S.

Alexander de Croo posted that the Chinese-owned video-sharing app will be temporarily banned from devices owned or paid by the Belgian federal government for at most six months.

TikTok said it is “disappointed at this suspension, which is based on basic misinformation about our company.” The company said it’s “readily available to meet with officials to address any concerns and set the record straight on misconceptions.”

TikTok is owned by China’s ByteDance, which moved its headquarters to Singapore in 2020. The company tried to distance itself from its Chinese roots by claiming that its parent company is not incorporated in China and that it’s majority owned globally institutional investors.

But, European Union’s These are the three major institutions Denmark’s defense ministry Already, employees were directed to delete the app from any devices they use for official business. Similar bans have also been implemented imposed in Canada The U.S.

The TikTok tussle is part of a larger trend. global rivalry between China and the U.S. and its Western allies over technological, economic supremacy.

De Croo claimed that Belgium’s ban was founded on warnings by the state security services and cybersecurity centers, who warned that the app could collect user data and modify algorithms to manipulate its news feed.

They warned TikTok that he could be forced into spying for Beijing. He didn’t give any more details.

“We are in a new geopolitical context where influence and surveillance between states have shifted to the digital world,” de Croo said in an online statement. “We must not be naive: TikTok is a Chinese company which today is obliged to cooperate with the intelligence services. This is the reality. Prohibiting its use on federal service devices is common sense.”

TikTok stated that user data is stored in Singapore and the U.S. new measures to ease European concerns By storing user data at European data centers.

“The Chinese government cannot compel another sovereign nation to provide data stored in that nation’s territory,” the company said in a statement.

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