Australia bans TikTok on official devices
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Australia bans TikTok on official devices

Australia bans TikTok on official devices
The logo of Chinese-owned video app TikTok is seen on a smartphone in front of an image of the Australian national flag in this illustration picture take on Tuesday. (Photo: Reuters)

CANBERRA: Australia banned TikTok from government-issued devices, joining the growing list of nations concerned about security threats posed by the Chinese-owned social media platform.

Announcing the order on Tuesday, Australian Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said he was acting on advice from intelligence and security agencies. The ban will take effect as soon as possible.

Exemptions may be allowed on a case-by-case basis with certain security measures in place, Dreyfus said. TikTok’s Chinese parent company is ByteDance Ltd.

Countries that have taken action against TikTok in recent months include Australia’s key intelligence allies the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and New Zealand, as well as European nations such as France and the Netherlands. Many of them have cited the ability of TikTok to collect data from devices.

In response, China has made “solemn representations” to Australia, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning told reporters during a regular press briefing in Beijing.

"Digital security issues should not be used as a tool to over stretch the concept of national security and abuse state power in suppressing foreign companies," she said.

"We urge Australia to earnestly observe market rules and the principle of fair competition and provide a fair, transparent, non-discriminatory environment for Chinese companies."

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