Politics would like to see TikTok no longer put on the work phone of civil servants. Remarkable, because apps like WhatsApp are allowed. It has everything to do with TikTok’s country of origin, which is China. While work is being done on a ban on this video platform in the United States, we are still taking it easy in the Netherlands, but one thing is clear: TikTok is also being distrusted in our country.
Netherlands versus China
We have seen it with Huawei: that company is also no longer allowed to supply network technology in many places, for fear of espionage by the Chinese. Recently, the Netherlands even entered into an alliance with Japan and the United States on the production of chip machines. For example, Dutch factories are not allowed to simply trade with China when it comes to chip technology. So there is definitely something going on between the Netherlands and China.
This is now also apparent from the Cabinet’s wish not to have TikTok on the work phones of civil servants. The app is extremely popular among children, so many parents put the app on their phone for their offspring. In addition to the fact that children under 13 should not use TikTok at all, it is therefore not wise to put that video app on your phone for other reasons. The cabinet is listening to advice from the Dutch secret service and voting with a parliamentary majority on the plan to tell government officials to ban that app from their smartphones.
It is not just that the AIVD issues this advice. For example, it believes that apps from all countries that have an offensive cyber program against the Netherlands do not belong on the telephone of someone who works for the government. The chance of espionage is too great. Especially with Bytedance, the company behind TikTok: the Chinese government would have a lot of influence there. It is of course not the intention that all kinds of civil servants’ sensitivities about our country seep into China like this.
Now you will probably ask yourself: why are civil servants allowed to install apps on their work phones at all: that seems like a rather dangerous practice. Well, the government is well aware of that. The intention is to ensure that all apps are banned, but only approved apps are whitelisted so that you can download and use them. So it is not the case that it is only due to TikTok: there is much more going on.
When she’s not tapping, she’s traveling around the wonderful world of entertainment or some cool place in the real world. Mario is the man of her life,…