Australia banned TikTok on all government devices over security concerns, joining a list of TikTok banned countries that includes the United States, France and the United Kingdom.

The ban follows warnings by Western officials that China could use the app, which is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, to spy on users and manipulate public debate.

The ban would come into effect as soon as practicable while exemptions would be allowed on a case-by-case basis subject to security precautions.

Mark Dreyfus – Attorney General

The ban makes Australia the last of the five eyes intelligence partners to introduce such restrictions, following the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand.

TikTok extremely disappointed by Australia’s decision, calling it driven by politics, not by fact

TikTok has denied claims that the app represents a security risk and insisted it has never and would never share data with the Chinese government. TikTok’s Australia and New Zealand General Manager Lee Hunter said TikTok should not be singled out.

There is no evidence to suggest that TikTok is in any way a security risk to Australians and should not be treated differently to other social media platforms.

Lee Hunter – TikTok’s Australia and New Zealand General Manager

The Australian newspaper reported Albanese had agreed to the ban after a review by the Home Affairs department.

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