TikTok: Belgium Bans TikTok From Government Phones

Belgium Bans TikTok From Government Phones

TikTok: Belgian Prime Minister Alexandre de Cros has announced that the Belgian National Security Council has banned using the Chinese social network app TikTok on government smartphones.

« Based on the analysis of the State Security Service (VSSE) and the opinion of the Belgian Cyber ​​Security Center (CCB), on March 10, the National Security Council imposed a temporary ban on the installation of the TikTok application on the official devices of federal public service personnel, » the statement said.

The Belgian authorities explained the ban because TikTok collects much user data – often without their knowledge – and manipulates the content. In addition, Chinese law obliges the social network to cooperate with the country’s special services, the press release emphasizes.

The restriction applies to all phones purchased partially or entirely with budgetary funds. However, civil servants can install the Chinese app on their devices, but this is strongly discouraged.

Previously, TikTok was banned by the US and Canadian authorities and the European Commission. The Chinese Foreign Ministry responded by accusing the White House of abuse of power and discrimination against Chinese businesses.

Furthermore, the Chinese Foreign Ministry called the decision of the US presidential administration to remove the applications of the Chinese social network TikTok from all government devices excessive pressure on foreign companies.

« How insecure can the US, the world’s leading superpower, be so afraid of the youth’s favorite app? » – quotes the news agency Associated Press (AP), the representative of the Chinese Foreign Ministry Mao Ning.

« We strongly oppose the American side’s erroneous practice of generalizing the concept of national security, the abuse of state power, and unreasonable pressure on companies from other countries, » she said.

Mao Ning also urged Washington to uphold the principles of a market economy and « provide an open, fair, and non-discriminatory environment for companies from around the world to invest and operate in the United States. »