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After adopting a text threatening to ban TikTok in the US: Can the social network be banned in France?

After adopting a text threatening to ban TikTok in the US: Can the social network be banned in France?

In France, leaders are surprised that TikTok is being banned in the country. The doubt comes as the House of Representatives gives an ultimatum to its plan to ban its parent company, ByteDance, if it does not cut ties with China more broadly.

This Saturday, April 20, 2024, the House of Representatives adopted a text issuing an ultimatum to TikTok banning its use in the United States unless the social network cuts ties with its parent company, ByteDance. China.

The video site has been accused by US officials of allowing Beijing to spy on and manipulate its 170 million users in the US. The ban must now be vetted by the Senate, which is expected to take a position next week.

What about France? On the other side of the Atlantic, the question is gaining more and more ground in the political debate, even if nothing is being planned at the moment. In January 2024, Sylvain Maillard, head of the Renaissance Committee in the National Assembly, threatened to defend the ban on TikTok in France. “Looking at what TikTok is doing, I think it's a platform that's organized to make us completely stupid, and if it's harmful, we need to make sure it's banned.”He said 8:30 am from France Info.

European scale

The recent arrival of TikTok Lite hasn't calmed things down. In 2023, as part of an investigative committee dedicated to TikTok, the Senate proposed to ban the social network in France if it did not provide adequate guarantees before January 1, 2024: specifically its communications with Beijing and the way its users' personal data is managed.

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According to BFMTV, the ban is valid at European level, to ensure consistency across all countries of the European Union. In Belgium, Chinese company leaders are trying to convince elected officials that TikTok does not pose a risk to users.

How to enforce this ban?

The main step would be to remove the app from the Apple and Google application stores (App Store and Play Store). So it is not possible to download TikTok on mobile. Its website is more visible. Internet service providers are responsible for blocking all connections to TikTok servers. Search engines can also participate by avoiding links to the site.

The European Commission has launched several investigations into China's use of user data. In February 2023, the European Commission, European Parliament and European Council banned their employees from using TikTok on their mobiles for cyber security purposes.

A decision was quickly adopted in many European countries, including France. In fact, from March 2023, government employees will not have the right to use the Chinese social network. The aim is to limit the risks of spying from Beijing.