Belgium joined this Friday the decision of the United States, Canada and Denmark to ban the use of the video application TikTok on the official cell phones of public employees.
“Let’s not be naive: TikTok is a Chinese company, which is obliged to cooperate with the Chinese intelligence services. It is reality,” said Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, announcing the measure, which will initially apply for a period of six months and that it does not affect the private mobile devices of public employees or legislators, reported the AFP news agency.
Last week, the European Council and the European Comission they also instructed their employees to remove the app from their work devices.
The parent company of TikTok, the Chinese firm bytedanceis under strict surveillance in Western countries due to suspicions that Chinese authorities could have access to user data.
The precedent in the US
In 2022, The United States banned the app from federal government devicesan order that went into effect at the end of February, the same week a bill was unveiled to ban TikTok from operating across the country.
The text, introduced by a Republican lawmaker, would give President Joe Biden the authority to ban the app entirely.
Along with the United States, Canada and Denmark joined the ban.
Banning the application would be equivalent to “muzzle freedom of expression” of millions of Americans, protested TikTok, which claims to have more than 100 million users in the United States.
“We firmly reject the erroneous practice of the United States of generalizing the concept of national security, abusing state power and unreasonably suppressing other countries’ firms,” protested Mao Ning, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
The ban was described as “curious” by a spokeswoman for the Chinese firm, who noted that it was taken “without citing any specific security issues” and regretted that the authorities had not contacted the company before the official announcement.