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Canada Orders National Security Review of TikTok

 |  March 14, 2024

Canada has initiated a national security review of TikTok’s proposed expansion in the country, signaling escalating scrutiny on the popular short-video platform’s operations. The move, announced by the industry ministry on Thursday, follows a string of actions globally aimed at addressing concerns over the app’s ties to China and its potential risks to national security.

According to Reuters, the review could result in various outcomes, ranging from imposing mitigation measures on TikTok to potentially blocking its expansion altogether. This development adds to TikTok’s mounting challenges, as it navigates a complex regulatory landscape worldwide.

In the United States, the House of Representatives recently passed a bill targeting TikTok’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance. The bill seeks to compel ByteDance to divest its U.S. assets or face a ban, citing national security apprehensions. This legislative move forms part of broader efforts in Washington to address perceived security risks associated with Chinese technology firms.

Related: US House Passes Bill to Force ByteDance’s Divestment of TikTok Assets

However, Canada’s review is specifically tailored to TikTok’s investment plans and does not appear to mirror the outright ban proposed in the U.S. “Our government is closely following developments related to the bill being proposed by U.S. lawmakers,” a government spokesperson stated, indicating a distinct approach from its American counterpart.

Under Canadian law, foreign investments, including TikTok’s proposal, are subject to assessment for potential national security implications. The government, bound by confidentiality provisions, refrains from disclosing specific details of such reviews.

This scrutiny comes in the wake of Canada’s prior actions concerning TikTok. Last year, the Canadian government prohibited the use of TikTok on government-issued devices, citing unacceptable privacy and security risks. Additionally, Canada’s privacy commissioner is conducting an investigation into TikTok’s handling of personal information, underscoring heightened regulatory scrutiny of the platform.

Source: Reuters