The UK parliament has brought down its TikTok account earlier this week, citing concerns of a possible data breach and the company’s links to the Chinese government.
A parliament spokesperson said, “Based on Member feedback, we are closing the pilot UK Parliament TikTok account earlier than we had planned. The account was a pilot initiative while we tested the platform as a way of reaching younger audiences with relevant content about Parliament.”
The closure of the account signifies the continued strained relationships between London and Beijing that have become conspicuous in recent years.
A TikTok spokeswoman said the action was disappointing and offered the MPs assurance that they would be available to clarify any position about the platform.
”It is disappointing that Parliament will no longer be able to connect with the millions of people who use TikTok in the UK, we reiterate the offer to reassure those Members of Parliament who raised concerns and clarify any inaccuracies about our platform.” She said.
The Chinese government had sanctioned some UK MPS for speaking out about alleged human rights abuses.
The BBC reports that a letter by some MPs claims that TikTok executives were “unable to reassure MPs that the company could prevent data transfer to ByteDance, should the parent company make a request for it.”
The letter further stated that “The prospect of Xi Jinping’s government having access to personal data on our children’s phones ought to be a cause for major concern.”