TikTok owner ByteDance has launched a women’s fashion website called If Yooou. Pinduoduo launched an e-commerce site in the U.S. called Temu. The two companies are the latest Chinese tech giants to look to crack the international e-commerce market domianted by Amazon.
Mike Kemp | In Pictures | Getty Images
The White House on Monday gave government agencies 30 days to ensure they do not have Chinese-owned app TikTok on federal devices and systems.
Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young told agencies in a guidance memorandum seen by Reuters they will be required to adjust information technology contracts to ensure vendors keep U.S. data safe by eliminating the use of TikTok on their devices and systems.
TikTok has said the concerns are fueled by misinformation. The action does not affect the more than 100 million Americans who use TikTok on private or company-owned devices.
Congress in December voted to bar federal employees from using the Chinese-owned video app on government-owned devices and gave the Biden administration 60 days to issue agency directives. The vote was the latest action by U.S. lawmakers to crack down on Chinese companies amid national security fears that Beijing could use them to spy on Americans.
Federal Chief Information Security Officer Chris DeRusha said “this guidance is part of the Administration’s ongoing commitment to securing our digital infrastructure and protecting the American people’s security and privacy.”
Many government agencies including the White House, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and the State Department had banned TikTok from government devices before the vote.
The TikTok ban does not apply if there are national security, law enforcement or security research activities but agency leadership must approve these activities, Young’s memo said.
The memo said within 90 days, agencies must address any use of TikTok by IT vendors through contracts and with 120 days agencies will include a new prohibition on TikTok in all new solicitations. The federal contractor ban applies to equipment used in government work but does not “include any equipment acquired by a federal contractor incidental to a federal contract.”