(CNN) — The White House has ordered federal agencies to remove TikTok from all government devices within 30 days.
Shalanda Young, director of the Office of Management and Budget, wrote in guidance issued Monday that all administrative agencies and their contractors must remove any app from TikTok or its parent company ByteDance within 30 days of notification. Within 90 days, agencies must include in contracts that cannot use short-form video on devices, and cancel contracts that require the use of the app.
The Biden administration’s guidance note would see the executive branch and its contractors comply with a bill passed late last year requiring federal agencies to stop using TikTok, owned by Chinese company ByteDance. The move marks the latest effort to rein in the app amid renewed security concerns over its US user data and fears it could find its way to the Chinese government.
The bill quickly passed through Congress in December and was included in a massive year-end spending package.
Reuters first reported the targeting.
U.S. officials have raised concerns that the Chinese government could pressure ByteDance to hand over information collected from users that could be used for intelligence or disinformation purposes. As CNN previously reported, independent security experts have said such access is possible, although no incidents of such access have been reported to date.
Brooke Oberwetter, a spokesperson for TikTok, said the ban was “little more than political drama.”
“The TikTok ban on federal devices was passed without much debate in December, and unfortunately, that approach served as a precedent for other governments around the world,” Oberwetter said in a statement: “We believe that while it addresses. Releases citizens”, security concerns about TikTok beyond government devices, Congress will explore solutions that do not have the effect of censoring the voices of millions of Americans.
Canada announced it would also ban the app on government devices starting Tuesday, and the European Commission last week issued its own ban on the app on official devices, citing cybersecurity concerns.
More than half of all US states have partially or completely banned TikTok on government employee devices, and the US delegation previously announced that it had restricted the use on electronic devices they manage.
TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew will be the only witness at a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing scheduled for late March.
China says US directive on TikTok ‘abuse’
China said on Tuesday that the United States was abusing national powers and expanding the concept of national security by suppressing the use of the TikTok app.
China has protested the US government’s latest move against TikTok.
On Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning, responding to a question after the announcement, said the US was “generalizing the concept of national security,” “abusing national power” and “irrationally suppressing security institutions.” “.
Mao added that the US government should provide an open, fair and impartial environment for companies from all countries to invest and operate in the US.
“As the most powerful country in the world, the United States should have more confidence in itself instead of being more afraid of the app that young people love,” Mao said.
— CNN’s Brian Fung and CNN’s Mengchen Zhang in Beijing contributed to this report.
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