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The UK government has banned TikTok on devices ‘with immediate effect’

The UK announced on Thursday that it will immediately ban the TikTok app on government devices due to security concerns.

• Read more: China urges US to stop unnecessary attacks on TikTok

“We will ban the use of TikTok on government devices,” Oliver Dowden, minister of state for cyber security, told parliament “with immediate effect.”

The short video-sharing app, popular among young people, has been accused by its critics of giving Chinese authorities access to user data around the world, which TikTok denies.

It was a “precautionary” move, he said, adding that “we know TikTok use is already low in the government, but it’s good internet hygiene.”

“Given the particular risk surrounding government devices, which may contain sensitive information, it is prudent and proportionate to limit the use of certain applications”, particularly those that access and store “significant amounts of data”, he added.

This approach, “based on the specific risks inherent in state apparatuses”, notably follows similar bans taken by the US, Canada or the EU, argued Oliver Dowden.

China urged the United States on Wednesday to stop “unnecessary attacks” on TikTok, after the U.S. government asked its Chinese parent company to part ways with it or face a ban on national security grounds.

According to Wall Street Journal and other US dailies, the White House has issued an ultimatum: If TikTok falls into the fold of its owner, the Chinese conglomerate ByteDance, it will be banned in the US.

TikTok confirmed to AFP that the US government had recommended that the application be replaced by its owner.

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“Washington has yet to provide evidence that TikTok threatens US national security,” Chinese diplomatic spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters on Wednesday.

“The United States must stop spreading misinformation on data security issues and stop unwarranted attacks [contre TikTok] Provide an open, fair, just and non-discriminatory business environment for foreign businesses,” the spokesperson added.