Taiwan’s cabinet has banned the use of TikTok in offices and is working with other top Taiwanese regulators to implement a ban on the allegedly unsafe Chinese app.

According to Taiwan News, Li Meng-yen, Secretary General of the Cabinet of Taiwan, on Monday, December 12, announced that the Cabinet would coordinate with the Legislative Yuan, the Examination Yuan, and other agencies to implement the TikTok ban.

Li added that Taiwanese government officials would be punished if they violated the ban.

In a meeting with Taiwanese lawmakers on December 12, responding to an MP’s question about the TikTok ban, Li said that Chinese audio-visual platforms have carried out numerous attacks, propaganda campaigns, and disinformation in Taiwan.

When asked by the lawmaker if public servants’ work phones could access TikTok, Li said that the scope of the ban included mobile phones used by civil servants for work. He said the phones are currently being checked for banned apps.

Li said authorities would find more effective ways to block TikTok, such as using a technical process to block the app within the local network.

Legally, Li said there would be a discussion about whether apps like TikTok that endanger Taiwan’s security could be handled the same way as India or other countries.

Lawmaker Chuang Jui-Hsiung asked Li whether the TikTok ban should be extended beyond the public sector to private citizens. 

Li replied that Chinese-made apps seriously affect information security because they require real-name registration, including detailed personal information. And those apps like TikTok have agreements to provide user information to Chinese security.

Li said that the law needs to be reviewed for the TikTok ban to be expanded.

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