TikTok to be banned on UK government phones

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The TikTok logoReuters

Chinese-owned social media app TikTok is set to be banned on phones used by government ministers and civil servants.

Cabinet Office Minister Oliver Dowden will make a statement to MPs later.

There has been no official comment – but Mr Dowden is expected to confirm the ban on the app on all devices.

TikTok has faced allegations it hands users’ data to the Chinese government. The company has strongly denied this.

The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre has been reviewing whether TikTok should be barred from government phones, with the government under pressure from senior MPs to follow the United States and the European Commission in banning the app.

Canada and Belgium have taken similar action.

TikTok said bans had been based on “misplaced fears and seemingly driven by wider geopolitics”, adding it would be “disappointed by such a move” in the UK.

The UK Parliament closed its TikTok account last August. The Downing Street TikTok page has not been updated since Boris Johnson left office in September last year but others, including Energy Secretary Grant Shapps, have updated their pages more recently.

The US banned TikTok from official devices in December, and the European Commission followed suit on 23 February.

Labour says five days later, Science Secretary Michelle Donelan said using TikTok was a matter of “personal choice”, adding that a ban would be “very forthright”.

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