RICHMOND, Virginia (AP) — Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin on Friday banned the use of several Chinese-owned apps, including TikTok and WeChat, on state government devices and wireless networks, threatening national security. said it is.
Youngkin’s executive order covers apps developed by ByteDance and Tencent. Businesses contracting with Virginia must also be prohibited from use on state-owned devices or IT infrastructure.
“TikTok and WeChat data are pathways to the Chinese Communist Party, and their continued presence represents a threat to national security, intelligence agencies, and the personal privacy of every American,” it said. , Republican Youngkin said in a statement. “We are taking this step today to protect state government devices and wireless networks from the threat of intrusion and to ensure that state government data and cybersecurity are protected.”
Youngkin joins at least 14 other governors who have taken such steps in calling on Congress to also ban the use of programs on federal devices.
The executive order drew praise from Mark Warner, one of Virginia’s Democratic senators and chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
“TikTok is endorsed by the Chinese Communist Party and poses a serious national security threat due to its data collection practices and ability to reach out and manipulate Americans. We hope more states will take action to keep it out of reach,” former governor Warner said in a statement.
In an emailed statement, TikTok spokesperson Jamal Brown said, “State and some federal officials are committed to promoting sound policies to advance the national security interests of the United States. Instead, we are disappointed that they are promoting falsehoods to ban the platform.”
“Millions of Americans rely on TikTok to grow their small businesses, reach new audiences, and make a living,” said Brown.