EU-wide TikTok ban is 'not excluded,' says von der Leyen

EU-wide TikTok ban is 'not excluded,' says von der Leyen
TikTok app. Credit: Belga

Banning the Chinese social media app TikTok in the European Union has not been ruled out, said Commission President Ursula von der Leyen during the Maastricht Debate on Monday evening.

The debate features the European parties' lead candidates for the elections in June. After a reference to the United States, where TikTok will face a national ban unless its owner ByteDance sells it within nine months, von der Leyen said that a similar measure is an option across the EU.

"It is not excluded," she said, adding that the Commission was "the very first institution worldwide to ban TikTok on our corporate phones. We know exactly the danger of TikTok."

While von der Leyen took part in the debate as the lead candidate of the centre-right European People's Party (EPP) and not in her capacity as Commission President, her comment comes at a time when TikTok has been under increasing pressure in the EU.

Last week, TikTok suspended one of its features that rewarded users for interacting with the TikTok Lite app, after the European Commission started investigating it in light of the Digital Services Act (DSA).

A separate probe (also as part of the DSA) has also been launched to investigate claims of TikTok failing to protect minors.

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