China said Australia’s ”discriminatory” ban on TikTok from all federal government-owned devices harmed the interests of Australian businesses and the public, urging Canberra to treat all firms fairly, a commerce ministry statement said on Friday.
”Australia treated TikTok differently from other social media platforms and adopted discriminatory restrictive measures, which are not conducive to maintaining Australia’s national security,” the statement said.
China also urged Australia to create a favourable environment for bilateral economic and trade cooperation.
Meanwhile, facing a nationwide ban in the US, Chinese short-form video making platform TikTok still have access to “troves of personal data of Indian citizens" who once used the app before it was banned in June 2020 by the Indian government over national security concerns along with several other Chinese apps.
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According to a report in Forbes, the data of Indian users “remain widely accessible to employees at the company and its Beijing-based parent ByteDance".
Before the ban, TikTok had about 150 million monthly active users in the country. “I don’t think Indians are aware of how much of their data is exposed to China right now, even with the ban in place," a current TikTok employee told Forbes.
Almost anyone at the companies with basic access to their tools can retrieve and analyse granular data about past TikTok users in India, “including everyone from prominent public figures to the average person".
ByteDance has more than 110,000 employees around the world, including in China, the US and Russia. In a statement, a TikTok spokesperson said they “have steadfastly complied, and continue to remain in full compliance, with the government of India order since it was implemented". “All user data is subject to our robust internal policy controls surrounding access, retention, and deletion," the company spokesperson was quoted as saying.