TikTok access from government devices now restricted in more than half of US states

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More than half of all US states have partially or fully banned TikTok from government devices, according to a CNN analysis, reflecting a wave of recent clampdowns by governors and state agencies targeting the short-form video app.

The accelerating backlash by states against TikTok, which has at least 100 million users in the United States, extends to states governed by Republicans and Democrats, and spans all regions of the country.

Many of the states have singled out TikTok for executive action, with governors prohibiting the social media platform from government networks and devices. But some have gone further — adding other apps with links to China to their ban lists, including WeChat and AliPay.

A handful of states are mulling legislation to restrict TikTok, mirroring similar efforts at the federal level by US lawmakers.

The moves come amid renewed security concerns about TikTok’s US user data and fears that it could find its way to the Chinese government. Nearly two dozen states announced restrictions late last year amid reports that a negotiation between TikTok and the US government had stalled over whether the company could continue offering its services in the United States.

A potential national security deal is still under review, TikTok has said, adding that it believes a mutual agreement with federal officials is the best way to resolve the security concerns.

“We’re disappointed that so many states are jumping on the bandwagon to enact policies based on unfounded, politically charged falsehoods about TikTok,” a spokesperson for TikTok said in a statement provided to CNN last month on the state actions.

“It’s unfortunate,” the spokesperson said, “that the many state agencies, offices, and universities on TikTok in those states will no longer be able to use it to build communities and connect with constituents.”