Which countries are banning - or censuring - TikTok?

The UK is the latest nation to introduce some kind of restrictions on the use of the social media app. Here are the countries that have banned TikTok

A laptop keyboard and TikTok logo displayed on a phone screen are seen in this illustration photo taken in Krakow, Poland on March 17, 2023. (Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
A number of nations have introduced bans against TikTok. (Getty Images)

The BBC has told its staff to delete TikTok from their work phones as the backlash against the Chinese-owned social media app continues.

On Sunday, the corporation urged workers to remove the controversial video-sharing platform from corporate mobile devices over fears sensitive data could be accessed by China's government.

In a message to staff, the BBC said: “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.”

Read more: UK parliament deletes TikTok account over China security fears

The move comes after the Cabinet Office announced last Thursday that TikTok has been banned on UK government phones. The Scottish Parliament followed suit a day later.

Cabinet Office minister Oliver Dowden said the ban was introduced over fears about the protection of sensitive data.

The UK is the latest nation to introduce some kind of restrictions on the use of the social media app.

Here are the countries that have banned TikTok:

The UK

Users of government-issued devices, bar officials given specific exemptions, are banned from using TikTok, the Cabinet Office announced last week.

Downing Street said the move was a “prudent and proportionate step” after a security review concluded that government data could be “potentially vulnerable” via the social media platform.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Oliver Dowden smiles as he departs BBC Broadcasting House in London, after appearing on the BBC One current affairs programme, Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg. Picture date: Sunday March 19, 2023. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
Cabinet Office minister Oliver Dowden announced a TikTok ban last week on government devices. (PA Images via Getty Images)

The Cabinet Office said the ban was being imposed because TikTok users are required to hand over data including contacts, user content and geolocation data.

TikTok has long said it does not share data with China but the country’s intelligence legislation requires firms to help the Communist Party when requested.

Critics fear the policy could expose data to Beijing, with growing concerns about how Chinese president Xi Jinping’s administration could use technology against the West.

Downing Street said there was no plan to delete the No 10 TikTok account and has hinted that it could remain operational due to the need to communicate with the public on social media.


Last week, the US government said TikTok should be sold or face a potential country-wide ban.

More than half of US states have banned TikTok from government devices.

It follows warnings from the FBI and the Federal Communications Commission that ByteDance could share data gathered on TikTok with the Chinese government.

The TikTok logo is displayed on signage outside TikTok social media app company offices in Culver City, California, on March 16, 2023. - China urged the United States to stop
TikTok's offices in Culver City, California, in the US, where the app is banned on government devices. (AFP via Getty Images)

A number of universities in the US have also banned the use of TikTok on its wireless campus networks.

Last week, the US said government agencies have 30 days to delete TikTok from all government devices.

The European Union

The European Parliament, the European Commission and the EU Council have all imposed TikTok bans on devices used by staff over security concerns.

The European Parliament ban announced last week came into effect on Monday.

It "strongly recommended" that staff also delete TikTok from their personal devices.

New Zealand

The latest country to introduce a TikTok ban on government phones was New Zealand.

It said on Friday that its ban will only be applied to about 500 people in its parliament buildings.

The ban is set to take effect from the end of this month.

Parliamentary service chief executive, Rafael Gonzalez-Montero, said: "This decision has been made based on our own experts' analysis and following discussion with our colleagues across government and internationally.

"Based on this information, the service has determined that the risks are not acceptable in the current New Zealand parliamentary environment."


One of the few countries with an outright nationwide ban on TikTok, India outlawed it and 58 other Chinese apps in 2020.

The ban was made permanent in January 2021.

The TikTok app on the App Store on an iPhone screen. Cabinet Office minister Oliver Dowden, has confirmed TikTok will be banned on Government devices following a review. Picture date: Thursday March 16, 2023. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
TikTok is now banned on UK government devices. (PA Images via Getty Images)

India said the Chinese apps were "prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order".

It said it made the decision to ban the apps to "to protect the data and privacy of its 1.3 billion citizens".


Earlier this month, Belgium banned TikTok from government devices for at least six months.

Prime minister Alexander De Croo said: “We are in a new geopolitical context where influence and surveillance between states have shifted to the digital world”.

“We must not be naive: TikTok is a Chinese company which today is obliged to cooperate with the intelligence services. This is the reality. Prohibiting its use on federal service devices is common sense.”


On 6 March, Denmark announced it was banning the use of TikTok on government devices, saying its cyber security experts had found there was a risk of espionage.

The country's defence ministry said staff are "required to uninstall TikTok on service phones and other official devices as soon as possible if they have previously installed it".


It followed the US in announcing that government devices should not have TikTok installed, saying it posed an "unacceptable" risk to privacy and security.

Canadian government employees are blocked from downloading the social media app.


China's neighbour Taiwan imposed its own TikTok ban on government devices in December 2022.


The country's Taliban leadership banned TikTok last year 2022, claiming it "misled" young people.

What has China and TikTok said?

A spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in Britain accused ministers of acting “based on its political motive rather than facts”.

The Chinese embassy said the targeted ban would “undermine the confidence of the international community in the UK’s business environment” while calling for London to “refrain from overstretching and abusing the concept of national security”.

TikTok, owned by Chinese internet company ByteDance, said it was “disappointed” with the decision and said bans were based on “fundamental misconceptions and driven by wider geopolitics”.

A spokesman for the firm said efforts were being made to make UK data even more secure and stressed that information shared by British users was not stored on China-based data centres.