Here's every country that has banned TikTok as the US threatens a nationwide ban. Montana is the first state to pass a total ban.
Montana on Wednesday became the first state in the US to sign a bill banning the social media app TikTok.
A growing number of countries are partially or totally banning the app over security concerns.
The US has threatened TikTok's Chinese parent company with a ban if it doesn't sell to another company.
A growing number of countries, states, and other entities are placing partial or total bans on TikTok amid data security concerns, citing fears that its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, could be forced into giving user data to the Chinese government, or be pressured into amplifying or suppressing certain topics based on China's interests.
The US recently threatened the app with a potential nationwide ban if its Chinese owners don't sell their ownership stake, but TikTok has said forcing a change in ownership would not address national security concerns. And Montana became the first state to approve an outright ban of the app in May.
TikTok has fought the talk of bans. A spokesperson previously told Insider. "The best way to address concerns about national security is with the transparent, U.S.-based protection of U.S. user data and systems, with robust third-party monitoring, vetting, and verification, which we are already implementing."
Here's a running list of countries and other places with a partial or total ban on TikTok:
President Joe Biden's administration has supported bills introduced in Congress that would give the president greater authority to ban apps like TikTok.
Last month, Montana became the first state where lawmakers approved a bill banning the app. TikTok previously pledged to challenge it if it was enacted into law, and has called the bill "censorship" and a violation of the First Amendment.
Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte signed the bill into law Wednesday, with plans for the ban to go into effect in January 2024, according to The Associated Press. The current plan is to fine app store owners like Apple and Google, along with TikTok itself, $10,000 per day the app can be accessed by users in the state. TikTok users in the state will not be punished under the current plan.
Experts have said it will be difficult or impossible to enforce the ban if a fine is the only deterrent, and tech groups have said app store owners don't have the capability to "geofence" an app and block it from being available in one state like Montana, the AP reported.
"We want to reassure Montanans that they can continue using TikTok to express themselves, earn a living, and find community as we continue working to defend the rights of our users inside and outside of Montana," TikTok spokesperson Brooke Oberwetter said, per the AP.
A bill that would forbid the app on all government-issued devices passed the Senate in December, and over two dozen US states including Ohio and New Jersey have banned it on state government devices. Several universities also prohibited TikTok from being used on campus wireless networks.
Former President Donald Trump threatened to ban the app several times, but that was never upheld by courts, and the executive orders against TikTok and other apps were revoked by Biden in the early months of his presidency.
Australia has become the latest country to ban TikTok from federal government devices. Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said the ban will take effect "as soon as practicable" and that exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis.
With the addition of Australia, all of countries in the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance — the US, Canada, Britain, New Zealand, and Australia — have taken action against TikTok.
The larger ban follows several department-specific bans that were enacted earlier this year, as the departments of Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Water, and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, as well as the departments of Defence, and Home Affairs banned the app, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
France recently announced a ban on "recreational applications" like TikTok from being installed on government devices, citing security concerns.
"Indeed, recreational applications do not have the levels of cybersecurity and protection of sufficient data to be deployed on administrative equipment," a translation of the statement reads.
The French Minister for Transformation and Public Administration, Stanislas Guerini, told The Associated Press the ban includes more than just TikTok, and extends to other social media including Twitter and Instagram, as well as video games like Candy Crush and dating apps.
The ban will have exceptions upon request if a government employee needs to use one of the apps for professional reasons, like Guerini himself announcing the decision on Twitter.
The Dutch government said in a recent statement that government employees are "immediately advised against" having apps like TikTok on work devices.
While TikTok is not directly named, the statement said there is an increased risk of espionage when using apps from countries that have an "offensive cyber program against the Netherlands and/or Dutch interests."
"Recent parliamentary questions and international developments have led us to make a careful assessment that goes further than advising against one application," Minister for Digitalization Alexandra van Huffelen said.
The government said it is working toward a system where only pre-approved apps can be installed on government devices.
New Zealand officials have prohibited TikTok from being installed on government phones, according to The Associated Press. However, New Zealand's ban is smaller in scope than those introduced by other countries, as it will only affect about 500 devices, per the AP.
The app will be removed from all devices connected to the parliamentary wireless network, and officials said they made the decision based on advice from the country's cybersecurity experts.
"This decision has been made based on our own experts' analysis and following discussion with our colleagues across government and internationally," Parliamentary Service Chief Executive Rafael Gonzalez-Montero said, according to the AP. "Based on this information, the service has determined that the risks are not acceptable in the current New Zealand parliamentary environment."
India had a ban in place for years, originally introduced in 2020, and made permanent in January 2021, Insider previously reported.
The ban came after a dispute between India and China led to the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers in June 2020 in the Himalayas, the Post reported. India placed bans on dozens of Chinese-owned apps, including TikTok, in the weeks following the incident.
Forbes estimated at the time that the ban could cost TikTok about $6 billion if it permanently lost access to India's population. Analysts have told Insider's Grace Kay that a US ban would likely have the same effects it did in India, and competitors like Snapchat, Instagram, and YouTube would see boosts in usage.
The British government also announced a government device ban on TikTok, citing the vulnerability of sensitive government data amid a wider review of apps.
"The security of sensitive government information must come first, so today we are banning this app on government devices," said Oliver Dowden, a senior cabinet minister. "The use of other data-extracting apps will be kept under review."
The ban came just weeks after representatives from the social media company met with European officials as part of an initiative nicknamed "Project Clover" to address the data security fears. TikTok said it is building data centers in Ireland and Norway to allow data from an estimated 150 million users in the region is stored locally, Insider previously reported.
Insider also reported on similar efforts by TikTok to ease concerns among the cybersecurity community as it recruited and hired security experts to handle its data.
Canada joined the group banning the app on government devices in February, as the Canadian government said a review found it presented an "unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security," according to The Washington Post.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters at the time that Canada did not yet know if this would be just the first, or the last step the country would take against TikTok, Reuters reported.
Canada's Treasury Board said in a statement that the ban only impacts government devices, but it encouraged citizens to be aware of the government's security concerns before using social media and other apps on their own devices.
Taiwan introduced a government device ban in December, and has been considering a larger ban on the app amid tensions with China over its stated independence, according to local reports cited by The Washington Post.
Officials in Taiwan have questioned the effectiveness of an outright national ban, as users could use technology like a Virtual Private Network, or VPN, commonly used to get around geographic restrictions and hide online activity, the Taipei Times reported.
With multiple EU bodies citing security concerns, the EU banned TikTok from being installed on staff phones in February.
TikTok's director of public policy and government relations told Reuters at the time that it was not consulted about the EU's concern or a potential ban, and said it felt there was a "lack of due process" in the decision.
Some EU member states including Belgium and Denmark also banned the app from government phones, the Washington Post reported.
The Taliban announced an outright ban on the app, along with multiplayer video game PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, commonly referred to as PUBG, last year to "prevent the younger generation from being misled," according to the BBC.
Wired reported earlier this year that several TikTok creators and influencers in the country saw their views dip, but then rise again after people began using VPNs and other measures to circumvent the ban.
Indonesia and Pakistan (rescinded bans)
Indonesia and Pakistan each banned TikTok for a small period before concerns were addressed, the Post reported.
Indonesia banned the app in July 2018 over potential "pornography, inappropriate content and blasphemy," but revoked the ban after just six days when the company agreed to censor some content, according to Reuters.
Pakistan has introduced multiple temporary bans over content the government deemed inappropriate. However, it did the same with Wikipedia for alleged "blasphemous" content. Some of those bans have lasted only a few hours, according to the Post.
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