Due to cybersecurity concerns, New Zealand has announced a ban on TikTok on devices with access to the country’s parliamentary network, making it the latest country to restrict the use of the video-sharing app on government-related devices.
Concerns have grown around the world about the Chinese government’s ability to access users’ location and contact information via ByteDance, TikTok’s Chinese parent company.
The gravity of those concerns was highlighted this week when the Biden administration demanded that TikTok’s Chinese owners divest their holdings or face a US ban.
TikTok will be banned in New Zealand by the end of March on all devices with access to the parliament’s network.
In an email to Reuters, Parliamentary Service Chief Executive Rafael Gonzalez-Montero said the decision was made after consulting with cybersecurity experts and holding discussions within the government and with other countries.
“Based on this information, the Service determined that the risks are not acceptable in the current New Zealand Parliamentary environment,” he explained.
He added that special arrangements can be made for those who need the app to do their jobs.
ByteDance did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.
The app was immediately banned on government phones in the United Kingdom on Thursday. The app must be removed from official devices by the end of March in the United States.
TikTok has stated that it believes the recent bans are based on “fundamental misconceptions and driven by larger geopolitics,” and that it has spent more than $1.5 billion on rigorous data security efforts. It also denies any allegations of spying.