Malacañang said Tuesday the government has no plans to ban Chinese mobile application TikTok in the Philippines amid privacy issues surrounding the popular video platform.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Palace has no reason to ban TikTok even after India banned the app while US President Donald Trump promised to do the same.
“Wala pong dahilan na nakikita para i-ban ang TikTok dito sa Pilipinas,” Roque, who has thousands of followers on TikTok, said in a televised briefing.
(There’s no reason to ban TikTok in the Philippines.)
“Sa mga nagsasabi na nanunupil si Presidente ng karapatan ng malayang pananalita, wala pong kahit anong website na bina-ban ang Presidente,” he added.
(To those who say that the President is suppressing the right to free speech, the President is not banning any website.)
On June 29, India banned TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps.
The ban was triggered by a border clash between Indian and Chinese soldiers, where India has 20 casualties. It says the ban is about preserving “data sovereignty.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in July that the United States was taking privacy concerns “very seriously” and that the Trump administration was “certainly looking at” doing the same.
According to the Washington Post, “Australia’s government is conducting investigations into the app, according to media reports. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported that Trump ally Prime Minister Scott Morrison had instructed the country’s intelligence agencies and its Department of Home Affairs to investigate the app’s potential security threat and its data and privacy policies.”
Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Japan is reportedly building a case to urge officials to assess the Chinese apps over growing privacy concerns.
Pakistan meanwhile issued a “final warning” to TikTok in July over issues similar to those of Indonesia. It said TikTok would be banned in the country if it would not remove “immoral, obscene, and vulgar content” from the platform.
TikTok/Douyin is a Chinese video-sharing social networking service owned by ByteDance, a Beijing-based Internet technology company founded in 2012 by Zhang Yiming. It is used to create short dance, lip-sync, comedy, and talent videos. ByteDance first launched Douyin for the Chinese market in September 2016.