Which countries in the world have banned TikTok?


On April 24, US President Joe Biden signed a bill that would ban TikTok if its owner, ByteDance, does not sell the app to an American figure.

The law requires ByteDance to reach an agreement within nine months, with a 90-day extension to close it. After this period, the United States will prohibit application stores from including the application in their lists.

Although TikTok announced that it will challenge this decision in court, the United States is not the first state to try to ban the application. Several countries in Africa and Asia have already implemented bans on the app, and ByteDance has not had the opportunity to restore its availability.

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Countries that have banned TikTok

This is perhaps the most well-known TikTok ban, as India is one of the largest consumer markets in the world.

In June 2020, the Indian government banned the short video app along with many other Chinese apps citing national security reasons. Helo, another popular ByteDance app, was also part of the list of apps that were banned at the time.

In 2022, the Taliban banned TikTok along with PlayerUnkown’s Battleground (PUBG) arguing that  they were “misleading youth.” However, in February 2024, the IT media Wired reported that many creators in the country were using VPNs to make videos and reach different audiences through TikTok. The report noted that TikTok users in Afghanistan were estimated between 325,000 and 2 million.

This Asian country imposed restrictions on the use of TikTok in the country since July 2021. Months later in 2022, lawmakers proposed a complete ban after several people used VPNs to use the service.

 In August 2023, Senegal blocked TikTok following criticism from opposition leader Ousmane Sonko. Citizens used the platform to express their disagreement, which led to the ban by the State. Additionally in October 2023, authorities required ByteDance to create a method for officials to delete accounts.

Somalia banned TikTok – along with Telegram and betting site 1xBet – around the same time as Senegal. However, Somali authorities cited that these platforms were used to “spread horrible content and misinformation to the public.”

Kyrgyz authorities also banned the platform in August 2023, considering it harmful to “the health and development of children.” The country’s Ministry of Culture added that teenagers were trying to recreate certain videos, putting their lives in danger.

Nepal: The small country north of India banned TikTok in November 2023 because the government believed the app disrupted “social harmony” and had an impact on “family and social structures.” Authorities were also concerned about growing cybercrime on the platform, with local media reporting 1,600 TikTok-related cases over the past four years. According to a BBC Media Action report published in 2023, TikTok was the third most popular social media platform in the country after YouTube and Facebook.

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In 2023, the United States restricted access to TikTok on government officials’ phones . At the same time, several countries and international organizations, such as the European Commission and NATO, implemented various restrictions on the application.

The list of countries that have taken partial measures includes the United States, Canada, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Malta and Ireland.