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TikTok Suspends Rewards Program Amid EU Pressure

TikTok has suspended a rewards program on TikTok Lite amid a dispute with European Union (EU) regulators.

“TikTok always seeks to engage constructively with the EU Commission and other regulators,” the TikTok Policy Europe account said in a Wednesday (April 24) post on X (formerly Twitter). “We are therefore voluntarily suspending the rewards functions in TikTok Lite while we address the concerns that they have raised.”

The EU had threatened to temporarily ban the rewards program, saying it could be addictive for children, Bloomberg reported Wednesday. 

EU Internal Markets Commissioner Thierry Breton said earlier this week that TikTok could face fines, a partial ban and other ultimatums from the EU because the company had not completed a risk assessment and other paperwork required to comply with the new Digital Services Act (DSA) before launching the service in some states in the bloc, per the report.

Breton noted TikTok’s decision in a Wednesday post on X and added that the cases against TikTok on the risk of addictiveness of the platform continue.

“Our children are not guinea pigs for social media,” Breton said in the post.

It was reported Monday (April 22) that EU regulators had given TikTok 24 hours to furnish a comprehensive risk assessment report on TikTok Lite and until May 3 to provide further requested information regarding the safety of its social media platform.

TikTok Lite is a pared-down version of the app designed for regions with limited internet connectivity. It has come under scrutiny for potential adverse effects on mental health.

The European Commission (EC) opened formal proceedings against TikTok in February, saying it aims to protect the well-being of online users. The EC pointed to concerns related to the protection of minors, advertising transparency, data access for researchers, and the management of addictive design and harmful content on the platform.

Reached by PYMNTS at the time, a TikTok spokesperson provided an emailed statement: “TikTok has pioneered features and settings to protect teens and keep under 13s off the platform, issues the whole industry is grappling with. We’ll continue to work with experts and industry to keep young people on TikTok safe and look forward to now having the opportunity to explain this work in detail to the commission.”