LONDON – The BBC said on Monday that it told its employees to delete Chinese-owned video app TikTok unless it was needed for business reasons, with Western institutions increasingly taking a harder stance over data collection fears.
The British broadcasting giant reported that it had sent staff a message on Sunday saying: “We don’t recommend installing TikTok on a BBC corporate device unless there is a justified business reason.
“If you do not need TikTok for business reasons, TikTok should be deleted,” it added.
Western authorities have been taking an increasingly firm approach towards the app, owned by ByteDance, citing fears that user data could be used or abused by Chinese officials.
Britain announced last Thursday a security ban on TikTok on government devices, in line with action by the European Union and the United States.
The BBC told AFP on Monday that it “takes the safety and security of our systems, data and people incredibly seriously”.
It added that while usage of TikTok on its corporate devices is still permitted for editorial and marketing purposes, “we will continue to monitor and assess the situation”.
The broadcaster has launched multiple pages on the app as it attempts to reach new audiences, and its official account has 4.4 million followers.
TikTok chief executive Chew Shou Zi will testify before the US House Energy and Commerce Committee on Thursday.
Mr Chew is set to face tough scrutiny over TikTok’s data practices and alleged links with the Chinese authorities, as US lawmakers assess whether the platform is a national security threat.
ByteDance has long insisted that it does not keep data in China or share it with Beijing. AFP