Amazon reverses on TikTok ban for employees
by Seth Johnson
Posted 7/10/20, 05:09 pm
More than 700 million users downloaded the TikTok app in 2019, but the Beijing-based social media platform is facing increasing criticism. On Friday, Amazon ordered its employees to remove TikTok from mobile devices that access company email addresses. But five hours later, the company said the email was sent out in error. “There is no change to our policies right now with regard to TikTok,” spokeswoman Kristin Brown said in a statement. In March, the U.S. Senate introduced a bill that would ban the app from government-issued phones. And India banned TikTok nationwide last month along with over 50 other Chinese apps.
Why are people worried about TikTok? Amazon initially cited a “security risk” as the reason for its restriction amid increasing concern the app feeds user data to the Chinese government. Last week, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News that Americans should download the app only if they want their “private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.” TikTok has denied sharing information with the Chinese government and told Amazon, “We welcome a dialogue so we can address any issues they may have.”
Dig deeper: Read June Cheng’s article about Hong Kong’s new reality under Beijing’s tighter control.
Editor’s note: WORLD has updated this report since its initial posting.
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Seth is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute student course.