TikTok will be banned from all Australian government-issued devices over national security fears.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese issued the directive following a review by the home affairs department into the risks posed by the Chinese-owned video-sharing app, according to The Australian newspaper.
The ban would apply to mobile phones and other devices issued by the government for politicians and public servants.
It’s understood state and territory governments received a briefing on Monday about the federal ban and are expected to follow through with similar bans.
The announcement of the ban is expected to be made by the Albanese government on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Concerns over TikTok relate to the potential for data to be harvested and accessed by the Chinese government under national laws that can compel companies to hand over information.
The federal opposition has been calling for the government to act on national security concerns and follow other countries in instituting bans.
ByteDance, which owns the social media app, has denied its user data can be supplied to Beijing and claims TikTok poses no risk to Australians.
TikTok responded to the ban late on Monday night.
‘If confirmed, we are extremely disappointed by this decision which, in our view, is driven by politics, not fact,’ a statement from Lee Hunter, General Manager of TikTok in Australia and New Zealand, read.
‘We are also disappointed that TikTok, and the millions of Australians who use it, were left to learn of this decision through the media, despite our repeated offers to engage with (the) government constructively about this policy.
‘Again … there is no evidence to suggest that TikTok is in any way a security risk to Australians and should not be treated differently to other social media platforms.’
The move follows the United States, Canada, and the European Union prohibiting government employees from having TikTok on work-issued devices.
The UK, New Zealand, France, Norway, and the Netherlands are the latest countries to announce bans of the app on government devices.