Austria has become the latest country to ban Chinese-owned video-sharing app, TikTok, from government employees’ work phones.
Several Western nations, including the US and UK, have already blocked TikTok from government devices over security concerns.
Speaking on the TikTok ban, Austria’s Interior Minister Gerhard Karner said: “It will be banned from work mobile phones. On private phones outside the state network it will of course be possible (to use the app).”
In February, 2023, the European Commission also banned TikTok on employees’ phones and other devices.
The video-sharing app, which is owned by ByteDance, previously told CNN: “It’s disappointing to see that other government bodies and institutions are banning TikTok on employee devices with no deliberation or evidence.”
“These bans are based on basic misinformation about our company, and we are readily available to meet with officials to set the record straight about our ownership structure and our commitment to privacy and data security,” a spokesperson added.
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The BBC has also urged its staff to delete TikTok from business mobile phones.
In guidance sent to staff last month, a letter read: “We don’t recommend installing TikTok on a BBC corporate device unless there is a justified business reason. If you do not need TikTok for business reasons, TikTok should be deleted.”
The bans have not stopped advertisers from continuing to flock to the app. The company predicted its advertising revenue will increase 36% to $6.83bn by the end of the year.
“The upside of advertising on TikTok still outweighs any threat of a ban looming, with short-form video ad spend continuing to grow at a significant rate,” Stevie Johnson, founder of marketing agency Disrupt, previously told Verdict.
GlobalData is the parent company of Verdict and its sister publications.