DeWine bans TikTok and WeChat from state government devices in Ohio

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — State workers in Ohio will be banned from using TikTok, WeChat and other Chinese-owned social media apps on state-issued devices over concerns that sensitive personal information and business data collected by those platforms may be shared with the Chinese government.

The ban was one of several executive orders signed by Republican Gov. Mike DeWine on Sunday shortly after he was privately sworn in for his second term. It will prohibit state agencies, boards and commissions from using social media platforms whose owners are in China.

Similar moves to prohibit TikTok on government devices have been made by top officials in about one-third of U.S. states, nearly all of them Republicans. Congress recently banned TikTok from most U.S. government-issued devices over bipartisan concerns about security and the spread of misinformation through the app.

TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese company that moved its headquarters to Singapore in 2020. TikTok has said that it prioritizes its community’s privacy and security and that it is working to address security concerns raised by the U.S.