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Which countries have banned TikTok as New Zealand bans it from government phones?

TikTok is under fire over privacy and security concerns (Picture: Getty Images)

With the prospect of a full ban on TikTok a possibility in the UK, New Zealand is the latest to ban the video-sharing app on government phones.

The popular app is under intense scrutiny for its links to China, with the US – where there are 100 million Tiktok users – now demanding that its Chinese owners sell their shares or face an outright ban.

China and TikTok insist there are no security risks. But some other countries are concerned that TikTok users’ data could be passed to the country, or that it could be used to promote pro-Beijing views.

A billion people use the app around the world.

President Biden’s threat follows an attempt by Donald Trump to ban the app, back in 2020, when the move was blocked by US courts.

So which countries have taken action to ban TikTok, and who exactly is banned?

Here’s what you need to know.

Which countries have banned Tiktok?

New Zealand

Three people dancing in front of a laptop to make a Tiktok video

TikTok videos boomed during lockdown, but could a UK ban be incoming?(Picture: Getty Images)

MPs in New Zealand were told today (Friday, March 17) that Tiktok will be banned from all parliamentary devices, as ‘the risks are not acceptable in the current New Zealand parliament environment’.

In an email, MPs were told: ‘The decision to block the TikTok application has been made based on our own analysis and following discussion with our colleagues across government and internationally.’

Some MPs regularly post on TikTok, including Act party leader David Seymour, and they will still be free to do so on personal phones.


U.S. President Joe Biden

President Joe Biden is considering a country-wide ban on Tiktok (Picture: Qian Weizhong/VCG via Getty Images)

US politicians in the House of Representatives were ordered to remove TikTok from their work phones and banned from downloading it last December.

More than half US states have also brought in a ban on using TikTok on government devices, and both Democrats and Republicans have joined forces to create legislation which would give the White House the power to ban it across the country.


Yesterday (Thursday, March 16) the UK government banned TikTok on all government devices with immediate effect.

All staff were ordered to remove to app ‘immediately’.

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It followed fears there could be a risk around how sensitive government data is accessed and used by certain platforms.

Cabinet Office minister Oliver Dowden said: ‘As many colleagues will know, social media apps collect and store huge amounts of user data.’

TikTok said it was ‘disappointed’ by the move that was based ‘on fundamental misconceptions and driven by wider geopolitics’.


European Union Flag Against Sun with plan flying in background

The EU has taken a stand against Tiktok for its employees (Picture: Getty Images)

The EU announced a ban on TikTok on its employees’ work phones last month.

Within the European Parliament, this comes into effect on Monday (March 20), and staff have been advised to completely remove the app from their work devices.

Certain countries within the EU, including the Netherlands, and Belgium, have brought in similar bans for staff.


Afghanistan’s Taliban leaders banned the app last year, for ‘misleading the younger generation’.


India imposed a temporary ban for everyone in the country on Tiktok back in 2020 – and this was made permanent in January 2021.

The Indian government acted over privacy and security concerns, and also banned a number of other Chinese apps including the messaging service WeChat.


Public sector workers in Taiwan are banned from using TikTok and other Chinese software.


Canadian Flag Consisting of a Smartphone over a Wooden Background

Canada acted quickly after the US banned TikTok in government departments (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Anyone working for national and local government departments in Canada is banned from using TikTok on official devices. The country acted swiftly to bring this in after the US did so.

Some countries have previously brought in temporary bans on TikTok, including Pakistan, Jordan, Bangladesh and Indonesia.

MORE : Everyone’s sharing their ‘delusion week’ on TikTok, here’s what that means

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