Canada is probing a proposed TikTok expansion for national security concerns, the industry ministry said on Thursday (14 March).

The ministry ordered the national security review in September, which could result in Canada asking TikTok to take measures to block the expansion. 

It comes after the US passed a bill on Wednesday (13 March) that could lead to a potential ban in the country for the ByteDance-owned company. 

The Canadian ministry has confirmed its review is focused solely on TikTok’s potential expansion and is separate from US legislation. 

“Our government is closely following developments related to the bill being proposed by US lawmakers,” a government spokesperson said. 

A TikTok spokesperson said the company was cooperating with Canada’s review.

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The spokesperson said the company remained “committed to ensuring the safety and security of the platform for the millions of Canadian creators, artists and small businesses who rely on TikTok to earn a living, find community and create jobs.”

The country’s law allows the government to assess potential threats to national security from all foreign investments.

In 2023, Canada banned TikTok from all government-issued devices.

Alongside regulatory pressure in the digital ads markets, large social media
companies have come under fire for not addressing human rights risks and
online harms, GlobalData notes in its Social Media Thematic Research 2023 report.

In response, new regulations such as the UK’s Online Safety Act (2023) and the EU’s Digital Service Act (2023) are forcing companies to address these matters, impacting platform design and business models.