TikTok faces yet another backlash, this time in Australia, on the grounds of security threats. The globally acclaimed Chinese app is subjected to scrutiny as it has indicated threats to user privacy from potential foreign interference, according to the country’s administration’s statement to Reuters.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that the government is very closely analyzing the app. “We are always very mindful of those risks and we are always monitoring them very, very closely,” he told 3AW radio on Friday. He also added that the country won’t “shy away” from taking necessary action against any national security threat.
TikTok’s parent company, Bytedance, reiterated that the company is committed to safeguarding the privacy of its users. TikTok’s Australian General Manager Lee Hunter, a former Google executive, also affirmed the statement.
Moreover, the company wrote a letter to the Australian MPs asking not to use the platform as a “political football”. The letter also said that the company was rectifying the records of “false claims” of its ties to the Chinese government.
Got this letter from Tick Tok today. Very pleased they’re reaching out but disappointed it didn’t come with music and dance moves. @tiktokaustralia pic.twitter.com/qJ8ki10FGq
— Stephen Jones MP (@StephenJonesMP) July 13, 2020
The growing Australian fan base
TikTok has reached 2 billion downloads worldwide. Its demand in the Australian market is quite prominent. According to the latest Roy Morgan report, TikTok has garnered close to 1.6 million followers in Australia where women and girls comprise two-thirds of them.
The application which is owned by Beijing based company Bytedance, allows users to make and share short videos, in the form of lip-syncing or dancing.
Rising global setbacks
TikTok has been in the news for quite a long time. Recently, the app was banned in India along with 58 other Chinese apps, in the heat of the country’s border clash with China.
Adding to it, in America, the Presidential campaign of Donald Trump rolled-out anti-TikTok ads through his Facebook and Instagram pages, citing security reasons.