CANBERRA (AP) -- Australia is the last of the 'Five Eyes Security Partners' to ban TikTok, a Chinese-owned video-sharing app, from its federal government's devices.
In a Tuesday statement, Attorney General Mark Dreyfus stated that the ban would be implemented 'as soon possible' based on intelligence and security agency advice.
Similar steps were taken by the so-called Five Eyes intelligence sharing partners, which include the United States, Canada and Britain.
TikTok, which is owned by Bytedance, a Chinese technology company, has maintained for years that it does not share any data with China. It is currently working on a project to store U.S. users data in Texas. This will make it impossible for China to access it.
It also denies that it collects more user information than other social media sites. However, it insists that its management is independent.
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The EU Council, European Commission, and European Parliament are the three major institutions of the bloc. They have also banned TikTok from staff devices. The ban was implemented by the European Parliament last month and instructed staff and lawmakers to delete the TikTok app on their personal devices.
India banned TikTok, along with dozens of other Chinese apps including WeChat in 2020 due to security and privacy concerns. This ban was imposed shortly after an Indian-Chinese clash at the Himalayan border. Twenty Indian soldiers were killed and many others were injured.
The U.S. gave agencies 30 days to remove TikTok federal devices and systems from their computers in March. Although the ban is only for government devices, some U.S. lawmakers advocate an outright ban.
China is shaming the U.S. for banning TikTok. It claims it is an abuse state power and suppresses companies from other nations.