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Here’s every country that has partially or completely banned TikTok as the US threatens a nationwide ban

Jakarta, Indonesia.Jakarta, Indonesia.

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  • New Zealand is the latest country to announce at least a partial ban on TikTok.
  • A growing number of countries are partially or totally banning the app over security concerns.
  • The US is threatening TikTok’s Chinese parent company with a ban if it doesn’t sell to another company.

A growing number of countries are placing partial or total bans on TikTok amid data security concerns, citing fears that the Chinese parent company ByteDance could be forced into giving user data to the Chinese government, or be pressured into amplifying or suppressing certain topics based on China’s interests.

The US this week threatened the app with a potential nationwide ban if its Chinese owners don’t sell their ownership stake, but TikTok has said forcing a change in ownership would not address national security concerns.

“If protecting national security is the objective, divestment doesn’t solve the problem: A change in ownership would not impose any new restrictions on data flows or access,” a spokesperson told Insider this week. “The best way to address concerns about national security is with the transparent, U.S.-based protection of U.S. user data and systems, with robust third-party monitoring, vetting, and verification, which we are already implementing.”

Here’s a running list of countries with a partial or total ban on TikTok:

United StatesJoe BidenPresident Joe Biden delivers remarks on Covid-19 on March 30, 2022.

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President Joe Biden’s administration has supported bills introduced in Congress that would give Biden larger authority on banning apps like TikTok.

A bill that would forbid the app on all government-issued devices passed the Senate in December, and over two dozen US states including Ohio and New Jersey have banned the app on state government devices. Several universities also banned the app from being used on campus wireless networks.

Former President Donald Trump threatened to ban the app several times, but that was never upheld by courts, and the executive orders against TikTok and other apps were revoked by Biden in the early months of his presidency.

New ZealandA blue and red New Zealand flag at half mast in the capital of Wellington.New Zealand, whose flag is pictured here, announced a ban of TikTok on government devices Friday.

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New Zealand is the latest to announce a ban as officials prohibited TikTok from being installed on government phones Friday, according to The Associated Press. However, New Zealand’s ban is smaller in scope than those introduced by other countries, as it will only affect about 500 devices, per the AP.

The app will be removed from all devices connected to the parliamentary wireless network, and officials said they made the decision based on advice from the country’s cybersecurity experts. The ban reportedly will take effect at the end of March.

“This decision has been made based on our own experts’ analysis and following discussion with our colleagues across government and internationally,” Parliamentary Service Chief Executive Rafael Gonzalez-Montero said, according to the AP. “Based on this information, the service has determined that the risks are not acceptable in the current New Zealand parliamentary environment.”

IndiaA crowd of people outside the Taj Mahal in India.The iconic Taj Mahal

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India had a ban in place for years, originally introduced in 2020, and made permanent in January 2021, Insider previously reported.

The ban came after a dispute between India and China led to the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers in June 2020 in the Himalayas, the Post reported. India placed bans on dozens of Chinese-owned apps, including TikTok, in the weeks following the incident.

Forbes estimated at the time that the ban could cost TikTok about $6 billion if it permanently lost access to India’s population. Analysts have told Insider’s Grace Kay that a US ban would likely have the same effects it did in India, and competitors like Snapchat, Instagram, and YouTube would see boosts in usage.

United KingdomThe Houses of Parliament and Big Ben in London, EnglandHouses of Parliament and Big Ben in London.

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The British government also announced a government device ban on TikTok this week, citing the vulnerability of sensitive government data amid a wider review of apps.

“The security of sensitive government information must come first, so today we are banning this app on government devices,” said Oliver Dowden, a senior cabinet minister. “The use of other data-extracting apps will be kept under review.”

The ban came just weeks after representatives from the social media company met with European officials as part of an initiative nicknamed “Project Clover” to address the data security fears. TikTok said it is building data centers in Ireland and Norway to allow data from an estimated 150 million users in the region is stored locally, Insider previously reported.

Insider also reported on similar efforts by TikTok to ease concerns among the cybersecurity community as it recruited and hired security experts to handle its data.

Canadacanadian prime minister justin trudeau

Alberto Pezzali/Associated Press

Canada joined the group banning the app on government devices late last month, as the Canadian government said a review found it presented an “unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security,” according to The Washington Post.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters at the time that Canada did not yet know if this would be just the first, or the last step the country would take against TikTok, Reuters reported.

Canada’s Treasury Board said in a statement that the ban only impacts government devices, but it encouraged citizens to be aware of the government’s security concerns before using social media and other apps on their own devices.

TaiwanThe Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum in Taiwan.The Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum in Taiwan.

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Taiwan introduced a government device ban in December, and has been considering a larger ban on the app amid tensions with China over its stated independence, according to local reports cited by The Washington Post.

Officials in Taiwan have questioned the effectiveness of an outright national ban, as users could use technology like a Virtual Private Network, or VPN, commonly used to get around geographic restrictions and hide online activity, the Taipei Times reported.

European Unioneuropean unionFlags of the European Union.

Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

With multiple EU bodies citing security concerns, the EU banned TikTok from being installed on staff phones last month.

TikTok’s director of public policy and government relations told Reuters at the time that it was not consulted about the EU’s concern or a potential ban, and said it felt there was a “lack of due process” in the decision.

Some EU member states including Belgium and Denmark also banned the app from government phones, the Washington Post reported.

AustraliaThe Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia.The iconic Sydney Opera House in Australia.

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Several individual government agencies in Australia have banned TikTok from being installed on officials’ devices, but no larger ban has been enacted.

Australian officials declined to tell the Sydney Morning Herald last month the reasoning behind the ban, or whether the ban affecting several agencies extended to other social media apps.

The app was banned on phones belonging to the departments of Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Water, and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, as well as the departments of Defence, and Home Affairs, the Morning Herald reported.

AfghanistanAn Afghan flag being waved in the air

Alain Pitton/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Taliban announced an outright ban on the app, along with multiplayer video game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, commonly referred to as PUBG, last year to “prevent the younger generation from being misled,” according to the BBC.

Wired reported last month that several TikTok creators and influencers in the country saw their views dip, but then rise again after people began using VPNs and other measures to circumvent the ban.

Indonesia and Pakistan (rescinded bans)Jakarta, Indonesia.Jakarta, Indonesia.

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Indonesia and Pakistan each banned TikTok for a small period before concerns were addressed, the Post reported.

Indonesia banned the app in July 2018 over potential “pornography, inappropriate content and blasphemy,” but revoked the ban after just six days when the company agreed to censor some  content, according to Reuters.

Pakistan has introduced multiple temporary bans over content the government deemed inappropriate. However, it did the same with Wikipedia for alleged “blasphemous” content. Some of those bans have lasted only a few hours, according to the Post.

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