Which countries have banned TikTok?

TikTok, the popular video-sharing app, is facing increasing restrictions and bans on a global scale. While the United States has been at the forefront of these discussions, other countries across North America, Europe, and Asia have also implemented partial or total bans on the app. These bans primarily revolve around concerns related to privacy and cybersecurity, stemming from the parent company, ByteDance, which has ties to the Chinese government. Even international government bodies like the European Commission and NATO have prohibited their staff from using TikTok on corporate phones, emphasizing the widespread unease surrounding the app.

TikTok Bans Around the World


In April 2022, the Taliban banned TikTok in Afghanistan, stating that the platform’s content was inconsistent with Islamic laws. This decision has further isolated the Afghan population from the app’s global reach.


Similarly, Australia has banned TikTok from all federal government-owned devices, citing security concerns raised by the Department of Home Affairs. Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus emphasizes that this ban is a precautionary measure to protect national security.


Belgium has banned TikTok from the work phones of government officials. Prime Minister Alexander De Croo’s statement to Politico recognizes that TikTok is a Chinese company mandated to cooperate with Chinese intelligence services, prompting concerns about potential security risks.


Canada joined other countries in banning TikTok from all government mobile devices in February. Mona Fortier, President of the Treasury Board, explains that this ban is due to the potential risk to privacy and security presented by the app. The decision aligns with the approach taken by several international partners.

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The Defense Ministry in Denmark has banned employees from having TikTok downloaded on their work devices. This decision was influenced by security considerations assessed by the country’s Center for Cyber Security, aiming to minimize potential risks.


India took significant action against TikTok in 2020 by implementing a nationwide ban on TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps. The government justified this blanket ban by accusing these apps of engaging in activities prejudicial to India’s sovereignty, integrity, defense, security, and public order. The ban resulted from escalating tensions after a border clash between Indian and Chinese military forces.

The Netherlands

Though not an outright ban, Dutch officials have been advised not to use TikTok. The Netherlands, like several other government service bodies, follows this recommendation. However, the implementation of this advice is less strict, as stated by a spokesperson for the general affairs ministry.

New Zealand

Following in the footsteps of several European countries, New Zealand’s parliament announced a ban on TikTok on all staff devices. This decision was based on analysis conducted by the parliament’s own experts and discussions with colleagues across government and internationally. The ban was deemed necessary due to the risks deemed unacceptable in New Zealand’s current parliamentary environment.


The Norwegian Parliament banned TikTok on governmental devices in March. However, unlike other countries, civil servants are permitted to use the app on their personal devices for professional purposes. This decision was influenced by the Norwegian intelligence services, which highlighted Russia and China as the main risk factors to Norway’s security interests.

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In December 2022, government devices in Taiwan were banned from using Chinese-made software, including TikTok. This decision aligns with the country’s overall approach to mitigate potential security risks.

United Kingdom

British government ministers have also been banned from using TikTok on work phones and devices. The ban follows reviews by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre and is in line with similar restrictions enforced by other countries such as the United States, Canada, and the European Commission. The sensitive nature of the information stored on government devices necessitates a strengthened government policy on third-party applications.

United States

The situation in the United States is complex. In March, the US government demanded that ByteDance sell TikTok or face a potential ban. While a nationwide ban has not been enacted, debates continue about its necessity. Federal agencies are being urged to delete the app from staff phones, and the White House has already prohibited TikTok on devices. TikTok’s CEO, Shou Zi Chew, recently testified in Congress, defending the app and highlighting “Project Texas,” an initiative aimed at protecting user data in the US. The app’s future in America remains uncertain.

Additionally, on May 17, the Montana House of Representatives passed a bill banning TikTok, raising the possibility of the app becoming illegal if the state’s governor signs the bill. The implications of this bill go beyond personal use, potentially affecting individuals statewide.

In conclusion, the bans and restrictions imposed on TikTok by various countries highlight the widespread concerns over privacy and security issues associated with the app. While some countries have implemented partial bans, others have opted for complete bans, emphasizing their commitment to safeguarding national security interests. The future of TikTok in different countries, including the United States, remains uncertain, as government entities grapple with finding the right balance between protecting their citizens’ interests and allowing for an open online environment.

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