Japanese lawmakers announced Tuesday they are seeking to restrict Chinese-made apps such as Tiktok in a bid to prevent the Chinese government from accessing user data, just a month after India banned the popular short video app.
Why it matters: Security concerns are rising globally about the Chinese government’s access to user data through Chinese companies. Tiktok and 58 other Chinese apps were banned from Indian app stores on June 30. The US is also considering blocking the short video app due to concerns over data security.
Details: Despite Tiktok’s popularity, Japanese lawmakers from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party are rushing to put data security first. They plan to submit proposals for the restrictions to the government as early as September.
“When looking at IT devices and software in this day and age, we have to be even more aware of how information is being collected and used.”—Akira Amari, head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, to reporters
- On Tuesday, a Japanese newspaper reported that the US expects its ally Japan to join it in banning or restricting Chinese apps like Tiktok. Experts believe that Japanese Prime Minister’s hardening stance towards China makes Japan’s compliance with the US view very likely, though an undersecretary at the US State Department stated they will respect Japanese sovereignty in the matter.
- Tiktok’s expansion to Japan took off in early 2018 as the company recruited Japan’s most popular influencers for the platform. Today it’s the country’s fifth most-downloaded app, with an estimated 10 million users.
- Tiktok in 2019 publicly focused its growth strategies on US, Indian, and Japanese markets, citing their strategic importance and rapid growth, TechNode previously reported. Now, the platform faces heightened scrutiny in exactly these three markets.