October 25, 2020

TikTok: Amazon tells employees to remove app from phones

TikTok logo on screen. Image copyright Getty Images

Amazon has told its employees to remove the video-sharing app TikTok from any mobile device that can access their company email over “security risks”.

But in an internal memo, the company said employees could still use the app on Amazon laptop browsers.

The app, owned by a Chinese company, has come under scrutiny because of fears it could share data with China.

TikTok said it did not understand Amazon’s concerns.

“Due to security risk, the TikTok app is no longer permitted on mobile devices that access Amazon email,” the company said in an email which was seen by multiple news outlets and shared by employees on Twitter.

“If you have TikTok on your device, you must remove it by July 10 to retain mobile access to Amazon email.”

TikTok said the company had not received any communication from Amazon before it sent its email.

“We still do not understand their concerns, we welcome a dialogue so we can address any issues they may have and enable their team to continue participating in our community,” TikTok said.

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TikTok was launched outside mainland China by Beijing-based ByteDance to reach a global audience. It increased its popularity during global coronavirus lockdowns with about 315 million people downloading the app in the first three months of this year, according to research firm Sensor Tower.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and an Australian member of parliament have recently suggested the app needs more scrutiny over its data and privacy policies because its headquarters are in China.

Mr Pompeo has banned state department employees from downloading the app and suggested the app could also be banned in the US.