Why These Countries Banned TikTok: Understanding the Controversy

Why These Countries Banned TikTok

TikTok has taken the whole world by storm with its popularity and over 1.2 billion monthly active users. Despite all the success, the platform is time and again questioned and criticised for its data breaching and privacy policies. There are many countries across the world that are banning TikTok due to its suspicious policies. If you are someone who wants to know why countries are trying to ban TikTok and about countries that banned TikTok, then you are at the right place. In this article, I will tell you about the TikTok ban and which countries banned TikTok. 

TikTok always knows how to stay relevant and in the news, but sometimes the platform is in the news for all the wrong things. TikTok is currently battling dozens of legal battles in different countries over its policies. Most countries have called for the banning of TikTok because of the accusation that the platform steals the private data of its users and then sells it to the Chinese government.

The scrutiny of the TikTok platform is always under the radar, it is relevant as a contemporary social media privacy matter. So, without further ado, let’s dig in to learn about, is TikTok getting banned and which countries have banned TikTok. 

Which Countries Banned TikTok Completely?

While TikTok has always been a subject, whether it is about its immense success or its questionable policies. In this article, I have given the list of countries that have banned TikTok completely as well as partially. In the below-mentioned list, I have given a list of countries that banned TikTok completely. Let’s have a look at why these countries banned TikTok:

1. India

which countries banned TikTok.

China and India have an estranged relationship now. The government of India imposed a complete and nationwide ban on TikTok and other Chinese apps like WeChat in 2020. The government of India has banned the TikTok app over privacy and security concerns.  

It all started with a clash between Chinese and Indian troops on the Indo-China border, which killed around 20 Indian troops, thus escalating the tension between the two countries. After India called for a permanent ban on TikTok in January 2021, TikTok withdrew from the market.

2. Afghanistan

After the Taliban took over Afghanistan in 2021, it called for the ban of TikTok and the wildly popular game PubG in early 2022. According to the statement by the Taliban, they aimed to “prevent the younger generation from being misled.” As of now, TikTok is permanently banned by the authorities in Afghanistan. 

India and Afghanistan are the only two countries that have completely banned TikTok. Now, you even know why these countries banned TikTok. While these two countries banned TikTok completely, there is a long list of countries that have partial bans on TikTok, let’s have a look at them.

Which Countries Banned TikTok Partially?

While many countries have decided to ban TikTok permanently, other countries have time and again called for a partial ban of TikTok. In the below-mentioned list, I have given a list of countries that have banned TikTok completely. 

1. Belgium 

Belgium temporarily banned TikTok in March 2023. The main concern of Belgian authorities regarding the TikTok ban is worries about cybersecurity, privacy, and misinformation. Belgium authorities also announced that the TikTok app is banned in the country for at least six months. 

2. Canada

Canada is another country that has joined the U.S. and the EU and banned TikTok from being installed on all government-issued mobile devices. According to Canadian Minister Justin Trudeau’s statement, “I suspect that as the government takes the significant step of telling all federal employees that they can no longer use TikTok on their work phones, many Canadians from business to private individuals will reflect on the security of their own data and perhaps make choices.” 

3. Denmark

Citing the reasons for cyber security, Denmark’s defence ministry announced a ban on the use of the TikTok app on official units; TikTok was partially banned in Denmark in March 2023. According to Denmark’s foreign intelligence service, there was a risk of espionage and data theft through the TikTok app. 

4. European Union

which countries banned TikTok.

The European Parliament, European Commission, and the EU Council, the three top EU bodies, had also decided to ban the use of the TikTok app on official units. The European Union banned TikTok in March 2020. The union also suggested that the members of parliament and staff remove the app from their personal devices as well.

5. New Zealand

New Zealand also announced the ban of TikTok from the phones of government lawmakers. The TikTok ban does not apply to all government institutions but only applies to about 500 people in the parliamentary complex.

6. Pakistan

which countries banned TikTok.

Pakistan’s diplomatic relations with China never allowed the country to ban TikTok fully. But the country has temporarily banned TikTok at least four times since October 2020. Each time there was a ban on TikTok in Pakistan, the authorities blamed the immoral activities on the platform. The ban on TikTok in Pakistan has lasted from a few weeks to a few months.

7. Taiwan

which countries banned TikTok.

After the FBI warned that TikTok posed a national security risk. The Taiwanese government took a step to ban TikTok in the public sector in December 2022, making the ban on TikTok the most recent one. The Taiwan government has imposed a ban on government devices, including mobile phones, tablets, and desktop computers, and has not allowed using Chinese-made software, including TikTok.

8. United Kingdom

After the report by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, a report that found out that “there could be a risk around how sensitive government data is accessed and used by certain platforms.” on March 16th, 2023, Oliver Dowden, the UK Secretary of State in the Cabinet Office, in a statement announced to the UK’s House of Commons an immediate ban of the app on government official devices.

9. United States

which countries banned TikTok.

Time and again, TikTok has been called for ban in the U.S. It all started when former president Donald Trump called for the ban of TikTok because it posed a threat to national security.  A bid to ban TikTok from operating in the United States altogether was blocked in the Senate on March 30. The U.S. FBI and the Federal Communications Commission have warned that ByteDance could share TikTok user data with China’s authoritarian government.

10. Australia

The Australian government banned TikTok on April 4th, 2023, in all federal government-owned devices over security concerns. Australian Attorney General’s Department announced that  TikTok is a threat to “extensive collection of user data and exposure to extrajudicial directions from a foreign government that conflicts with Australian law.”

Why These Countries Banned TikTok?

Now that we know that despite TikTok’s immense popularity, its data breaching policies have always been under the radar. Many countries, since the popularity of TikTok rose in 2016, have called for the ban of TikTok, citing different reasons. In the below-mentioned, I have cited different most common reasons why countries have banned TikTok. 

1. Data Privacy Concerns

TikTok has been time and again blamed for stealing the data of its users and selling it to the Chinese government. The data of users being stolen by TikTok is one of the main concerns of various nations, and that is the reason why countries have banned TikTok.

2. National Security Concerns

Countries that have estranged relations with China always have a concern for national security. As I already mentioned in the article, many countries have banned TikTok from the phones of government lawmakers. Thus ensuring proper national security within the country. 

3. Inappropriate Content

Countries have banned TikTok, citing that the platform encourages and supports inappropriate content on the platform. Immoral and inappropriate content on the platform is the reason why TikTok is banned in Pakistan and Afghanistan

4. Geopolitical Tensions

The tensions between China with other countries like India and Australia are the reason for its ban in these countries. So, Geopolitical tensions is the solid reason why TikTok is banned in many countries. 

5. Legal and Regulatory Concerns

Many countries have legal and regulatory measures that prevent the proper functioning of TikTok in their countries. So, countries like Taiwan and Afghanistan have banned it due to these reasons.

6. Public Perception and Social Impact

TikTok’s impact on social scenarios in the last few years has been immense. It has been so drastic that other social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube have followed suit and introduced short-form videos on the platform. The impact of TikTok has been mostly addictive, with over 1.2 billion monthly active users, teenagers’ mental health has been hugely affected by TikTok, so countries have taken measures to ban TikTok. 

Is TikTok Safe to Use?

which countries banned TikTok.

TikTok’s safety has always been a concern for its users and stakeholders. If you want to enjoy TikTok safely, make sure you know about the app permissions of your device. 

TikTok’s privacy and security is one of the reasons many users have left the platform and joined other alternatives. Like other social media platforms, TikTok is a safe platform. TikTok does not infect your phone with malware, but it comes with some safety risks, like scams and saved user data.

Wrapping Up

TikTok is one of the most sought platforms in the contemporary social media scenario. But the platform has been time and again accused of stealing the private data of its users. Many countries have thus banned TikTok. To know about the TikTok ban and which countries have banned TikTok, and reasons why these countries banned TikTok, read the entire article and share it with your friends. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is America trying to ban TikTok?

The U.S. is trying to ban TikTok in the country because TikTok has been accused of stealing the data of U.S. citizens and sharing the data with the Chinese government. 

2. How Many Countries Have Banned TikTok?

More than a dozen countries around the world have introduced full, partial, or public sector bans on TikTok amid heightened national security concerns.

3. Which country uses TikTok the most?

According to the latest data on TikTok’s advertising reach, the United States is home to the majority of TikTok users worldwide, with 113.3 million TikTokers residing there.

4. Can the government ban TikTok?

Yes, any government can decide to ban TikTok in their country.  

5. What is the future of TikTok in these banned countries?

Any country can revoke the ban of TikTok, but it is difficult for countries that have permanently banned TikTok to revoke this ban.

6. How does the ban of TikTok impact its users and stakeholders?

TikTok ban in many countries can be damaging to millions of businesses from a financial perspective to users and stakeholders. 

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