• Directory of Taiwan

Taiwan weighing nationwide ban on TikTok

Inter-ministerial meeting slated for this month to discuss banning TikTok

(Reuters, Clipart Library images)

(Reuters, Clipart Library images)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Ministry of Digital Affairs (MODA) will conduct inter-ministerial discussions this month to determine whether a nationwide ban should be imposed on TikTok.

On Dec. 5, news broke that the Ministry of Digital Affairs (MODA) had banned TikTok from public sector devices, including mobile phones, tablets, and computers. The next day, New Taipei City announced it would work with the central government to impose the ban on public sector devices.

Minister of Digital Affairs Audrey Tang (唐鳳) on Friday (Dec. 9) was cited by Mirror Media as saying the ministry is researching the possibility of extending the ban to the general public and that a report will be filed at the information security meeting at the end of this month. Tang said an inter-ministerial committee meeting would be held to decide on the best course of action in relation to national security.

Last week, a MODA official was cited as saying that Douyin, TikTok (international version), and Xiaohongshu have been deemed to be "harmful products against national information security." Various public agencies have added new regulations for their own or subcontracted operation and new requirements for venues offering public events or public use, while there has been a ban imposed on products (including hardware, software, and services) that have information security concerns.

The news of the public sector device ban has sparked debate over whether TikTok should be banned for individual consumers. While attending an event at the Songshan Cultural and Creative Park on Friday, Tang was asked by the media whether the ban would be extended to private citizens.

Tang emphasized that the Principles on Limiting Harmful Products Against National Information Security Used by Government Agencies (各機關對危害國家資通安全產品限制使用原則) are not applicable to private and personal use. However, Tang also said people from all walks of life in Taiwan have begun to express concerns about TikTok's impact on national security.

National Science and Technology Council Minister Wu Tsung-tsong (吳政忠) also confirmed to the news agency that a report on the matter will be presented at an inter-ministerial national security meeting scheduled for this month.