EU Commission President Doesn't Rule Out A TikTok Ban For The Bloc

European Union Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Monday did not rule out a TikTok ban for the 27-nation bloc nearly a week after President Joe Biden signed legislation that could see the social platform being restricted in the U.S. unless the app cuts ties with its Chinese parent company.

In a debate with the lead candidates of the parties competing in this year’s European elections, von der Leyen spoke about the steps the EU has already taken to mitigate the risks the platform could pose to member states.

“It is not excluded,” she said of a potential ban during a debate hosted by Politico and Studio Europa Maastricht. “The Commission was the very first institution worldwide to ban TikTok on our corporate telephones.”

Von der Leyen continued: “We know exactly the danger of TikTok.”

The company has not commented on von der Leyen’s remarks.

The EU Commission president’s team previously signaled von der Leyen wouldn’t be using the platform as part of her campaign strategy.

Last week, the European Commission launched a second formal investigation into TikTok, alleging the company may have violated the Digital Services Act when it launched TikTok Lite in France and Spain. The commission particularly took issue with the platform’s “Task And Reward Program,” which allows users to collect points, saying the company launched it “without prior diligent assessment of the risks it entails, in particular those related to the addictive effect of the platforms, and without taking effective risk mitigating measures.”

“TikTok always seeks to engage constructively with the EU Commission and other regulators,” the company said in a statement. “We are therefore voluntarily suspending the rewards functions in TikTok Lite while we address the concerns that they have raised.”

The EU Commission was already investigating TikTok over the absence of age verification mechanisms and its addictive features.

Von der Leyen’s comments come amid a string of bad news for TikTok, especially in the U.S.

Earlier this month, Congress approved a package of foreign aid bills, including a provision that would force ByteDance, the Chinese parent company of TikTok, to sell its stake in the platform within a year or risk getting banned over concerns about national security and the safety of U.S. user data. Biden signed the package into law last week.

TikTok has repeatedly pushed back against those concerns and said it plans to pursue legal action to block the law from taking hold.

“We believe the facts and the law are clearly on our side, and we will ultimately prevail,” the company said last week.