Security officials mulling TikTok ban

Security officials mulling TikTok ban

THE PHILIPPINE government has formed a task force to assess whether public officials should be banned from using short-form video platform TikTok amid espionage concerns, the National Security Council (NSC) said on Tuesday.

“The proposal to ban TikTok is simply for the security sector because many, many countries in the world have already banned TikTok in government devices,” NSC Assistant Director General Jonathan E. Malaya told reporters at the sidelines of a security forum.

The task force will be composed of several agencies, including the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA).

“We are just waiting for the results of the threat assessment which we will then submit to the National Security Adviser,” Mr. Malaya said.

The NSC official first bared the possibility in September, saying “there are information operations and psychological warfare and other stuff being done.”

Tiktok, which was developed by Chinese company ByteDance Ltd., was introduced to the Philippines in May 2017. In April last year, the video platform launched its online market named Tiktok Shop in the Philippines.

The Palace recently told BusinessWorld that TikTok and the Department of Trade and Industry — and “possibly” the Department of Agriculture — will conduct e-commerce training for small-scale businesses.

TikTok Shop’s gross merchandise value in Southeast Asia hit $4.4 billion in 2022. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza