Philippines to Decide Whether to Ban TikTok in State Security

(Bloomberg) -- The Philippine government will soon decide whether to forbid security employees from using the TikTok video-sharing app amid concerns over cyberespionage, according to a National Security Council official.

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“The proposal to ban TikTok is simply for the security sector because many, many countries in the world have already banned TikTok in government devices,” the council’s Assistant Director Jonathan Malaya told reporters Tuesday.

National Security Adviser Eduardo Ano established a task force “to create a threat assessment” that “hopefully would be finished within the year,” Malaya said, so that a decision on a potential ban can be made “very soon.” He said the possible TikTok ban will not cover the general public.

Malaya earlier said the threat of data collection or cyberespionage was the reason behind the move to create a task force to consider banning the popular social media platform on government security devices.

TikTok Inc., owned by China’s ByteDance Ltd., is banned in a number of countries. The US has prohibited downloading or using TikTok on federal government devices, and the European Commission and some EU countries banned government officials from using TikTok on their work phones. Canada and India have enacted similar bans.

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has asked TikTok to help mom-and-pop stores promote their products to the social media platform’s millions of users after meeting with TikTok Chief Executive Officer Chew Zi Shou in San Francisco earlier this month.

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