In light of worries over the app’s ties to China and the escalating Taiwanese conflict, Downing Street and top ministers have been encouraged to follow parliament and cancel their TikTok accounts.
Iain Duncan Smith, a former leader, pushes officials to sever connections with a Chinese-owned platform because of data security concerns.
After lawmakers expressed concern about the possibility of data being given to the Chinese government, the UK Parliament shut down its TikTok account.
Days after its launch, their TikTok account has been locked and its content removed.
Senior MPs and peers had demanded that TikTok deactivate the account until they could provide “credible assurances” that no data would be given to China.
Chinese corporation ByteDance, which has refuted claims that it was governed by the Chinese government, owns TikTok.
China’s last-year sanctions on numerous MPs contributed to the tense state of relationships between London and Beijing.
Parliament’s inability to interact with TikTok users in the UK, according to a representative for the app, was “disappointing.”
The spokeswoman added TikTok would be happy to “clarify any inaccuracies regarding our platform” in an effort to assuage the MPs who had concerns.
Peers and MPs raised these issues in a letter to the speakers of both Houses of Parliament, including former Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith and current contender for the position, Tom Tugendhat.
The peers and MPs wrote that they were “surprised and saddened” by Parliament’s decision to create the account and that they had received warnings from the Chinese government for voicing out against human rights abuses there.
The accompanying data security concerns were “considerable,” according to the letter.
“The prospect of Xi Jinping‘s government having access to personal data on our children’s phones ought to be a cause for major concern,” the letter said.
A group of Tory backbenchers demanded that the account be closed “until credible assurances can be given that no data whatsoever can be transferred to China,” despite the fact that only one video had been posted on the TikTok account, demonstrating the best way for tourists to take a selfie with Big Ben in London.
Several MPs, like Nadine Dorries, the culture secretary, utilize TikTok to interact with younger audiences.
With recordings that range from a rapper detailing the internet security bill to highlights of the Lionesses’ triumph at Euro 2022, she has amassed more than 2.4 million views.
The transport secretary Grant Shapps, at least three further Conservative MPs, and two additional Labour MPs all have accounts.
Last year in October, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson set the record of the number 10 TikTok, which has over 300,000 followers.
“This is intended to be a place where we can put out messages and behind-the-scenes insights into what we’re getting done, so tune in,” said Mr. Johnson in his first TikTok video.
Relationships between London and Beijing are being strained by a number of problems, including the perceived threats to national security presented by Chinese technology.
Fears of a tit-for-tat economic war in 2020 were raised by the decision to exclude Huawei’s 5G technology from Britain’s mobile networks by 2027.
Then, in the past year, China imposed sanctions on many UK organizations and MPs, including Sir Iain, for what it referred to as the propagation of “lies and disinformation” regarding human rights violations in its Xinjiang region.
In the first one-on-one television discussion between former chancellor Rishi Sunak and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, both of whom are running for the Tory leadership, TikTok’s place in the UK’s social media scene was brought up.
Through her campaign, Ms. Truss expressed her desire to take additional steps to ensure that vital technologies weren’t transferred for use by autocratic governments and to ensure that foreign businesses adhered to UK regulations.
Other nations, like the United States, have attempted to place limitations on TikTok, while India has permanently banned the app from the nation in June 2020.