New Zealand will ban Chinese social network TikTok from the devices of members of parliament, officials told AFP on Friday, following the country with other Western countries that have decided on similar measures.

The ban will affect all devices with access to the parliamentary network, said Rafael Gonzalez-Montero, a parliament official. It will take effect on 31 March.

According to Rafael Gonzalez-Montero, the risks are "not acceptable in the current parliamentary environment in New Zealand". "The decision was taken on the basis of the analyses of our own experts, after a discussion with our colleagues in government and internationally," he added.

U.S. threats

New Zealand will follow in the footsteps of Canada, the U.K. and U.S. federal agencies, which have already banned TikTok from government devices due to data security concerns. The European Commission has also ordered the video-sharing app to be banned from its employees' devices.

The global action against TikTok kicked off in India in 2020. The social network was on a list of banned apps after deadly clashes on the border with China, with New Delhi claiming to defend its sovereignty. That same year, former President Donald Trump accused TikTok of being a spying tool for Beijing.

TikTok has acknowledged that employees of its parent company ByteDance in China accessed the account information of Americans, but has always denied passing this data to the authorities.

Current U.S. President Joe Biden has threatened to ban the app completely from the territory if it doesn't separate from ByteDance.

With AFP

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