Parliament's TikTok account shut down over app's link to China

Parliament’s TikTok account has been shut down after MPs raised concerns about the social media firm’s links to China.

A UK Parliament spokesman said: ‘Based on Member feedback, we are closing the pilot UK Parliament TikTok account earlier than we had planned,’

‘The account was a pilot initiative while we tested the platform as a way of reaching younger audiences with relevant content about Parliament,’

A number of MPs hit by Chinese sanctions for speaking out against ‘gross human rights violations’ had protested against the recent creation of the social media account.

TikTok’s parent firm ByteDance is based in China and a number of British MPs have previously raised concerns about user data being sent to Beijing.

The company denied this and Theo Bertram, the app’s vice president for government relations and public policy in Europe, told MPs in July that ‘we have never been asked to provide TikTok user data to the Chinese government, nor would we if asked’.

Nus Ghani, one the the Tory MPs sanctioned, thanked the speaker of the Commons and the House of Lords for intervening and ‘standing up for our values and protecting our data’.

Former Conservative party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith also welcomed the decision, which followed pressure from the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China.

‘We are pleased that Parliament, immediately they were told, understood there was a problem and shut it down,’ he told the PA news agency.

‘It’s important for others to look at that now and we need to start talking to people about not using TikTok.’

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