Following similar restrictions in other Western nations, Australia ban TikTok on official devices. Australia, the most recent U.S. ally to take action against the Chinese-owned video app, banned TikTok on Tuesday from all state government-owned devices due to security fears.
Mark Dreyfus, the attorney general, claimed that he had given the minister of his department the go-ahead to issue a directive that forbade the TikTok app from being used on equipment provided by Commonwealth ministries and agencies.
Australia ban TikTok: What caused this?
Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus declared in a statement that the prohibition would go into action “as soon as practically possible” and that exceptions would only be made when necessary and after taking the necessary security precautions. Australia ban TikTok highlights increasing concerns that China may use the Beijing-based business, which is controlled by ByteDance Ltd, to collect user data for political purposes and jeopardize Western security interests.
breaking: attorney-general Mark Dreyfus confirms a ban on TikTok on Commonwealth government devices
"The direction will come into effect as soon as practicable. Exemptions will only be granted on a case-by-case basis and with appropriate security mitigations in place" pic.twitter.com/WaVzqZ7rhk
— Josh Butler (@JoshButler) April 4, 2023
Additionally, it runs the risk of escalating the political rift that has existed between Australia and its biggest trading partner since Prime Minister Anthony Albanese led a Labor administration to power in May.
Australia’s choice was “driven by politics, not by fact,” according to TikTok, which expressed its profound disappointment in it.
All members of the so-called Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network—Australia, Canada, the United States, Britain, and New Zealand—have now prohibited the app from being used on official devices as a result of Australia’s prohibition. Similar restrictions have been declared by the European Commission, France, and Belgium.
In testimony before the US Congress last month, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew frequently refuted allegations that the app distributes data or has ties to the Chinese Communist Party.
Lee Hunter, general manager of TikTok for Australia and New Zealand, asserted that the app shouldn’t be marked out.
In a statement, Hunter said that TikTok shouldn’t be handled any differently from other social media platforms because “there is no evidence to suggest that it is in any way a security risk for Australians.”
After the Home Affairs department conducted a review, the Australian newspaper published late on Monday that Albanese had consented to the prohibition.
Dreyfus acknowledged that a study titled “Review into Foreign Interference through Social Media Applications” had just been delivered to the central government and that its suggestions were still being taken into account.
China responded by imposing tariffs on Australian commodities
The prohibition was announced on the same day that Australian and Chinese officials met in Beijing to discuss ways to resume regular trade as the WTO gets ready to announce its conclusions regarding an Australian complaint about barley tariffs. Regarding the likelihood of enhancing trade ties, Trade Minister Don Farrell told Sky News that “things are going well, but of course, it’ll take some time to turn this ship around.”
Australia barred China’s Huawei from supplying equipment for its 5G network launch in 2018, angering China. Relations further deteriorated after Canberra demanded an impartial inquiry into the origins of COVID-19.
While some Australian politicians, such as federal Government Services Minister Bill Shorten and Victoria State Premier Daniel Andrews, have chosen to delete their profiles, others can still use TikTok on personal phones.
According to a government official who spoke to Reuters, Victoria State will also prohibit the program on state-owned mobile devices. TikTok confronts condemnation for its impact on children as well as growing pressure over any possible Chinese influence on the app.
According to TikTok, the Joe Biden administration insisted that the app’s Chinese proprietors sell their shares or risk a possible U.S. prohibition. In the midst of a possible TikTok ban in Australia, the China-based firm has a b-plan for the U.S. Learn how Lemon8 could be the saviour in case of a TikTok ban in the United States.