TikTok is Banned in these 20 States and Countries - InvestingChannel

TikTok is Banned in these 20 States and Countries

In this article, we look at the 20 states or countries where TikTok is banned. You can skip our detailed analysis on how restrictions on TikTok have affected alternatives like YouTube shorts or Instagram reels by heading over to Top States and Countries Where TikTok is Banned, where we have listed countries where the social media platform is completely banned.

Governments across the world have expressed reservations about TikTok owned by Chinese company ByteDance that it may breach sensitive user data. Their primary concerns stem from Chinese laws that allow Beijing to demand user data from Chinese companies, which may end up being used for intelligence-gathering. TikTok denies the allegations, but lawmakers have escalated measures to restrict public access to the video app, while some countries have already banned TikTok or prohibited government officials from using it.

More than two dozen states in the US have placed a partial ban on the app, restricting government employees from using TikTok on their official devices. Several educational institutions in these states also restrict access to the Chinese app on WiFi networks in their campuses. According to a report, federal agencies in the United States were asked by the White House in February this year to delete TikTok from government devices, while in New York City, government employees were barred from downloading the app. A House committee later in March announced to back a legislation allowing President Biden to ban TikTok from all devices across the US.

On the other hand, there are also countries where TikTok is being banned over reasons other than privacy concerns. China’s ‘all-weather’ ally and neighboring Pakistan banned TikTok four times since October 2020 citing promotion of ‘immoral and unlawful content’. Moreover, the Indonesian government in 2018 banned TikTok for containing content which the government regarded as pornographic, inappropriate, and blasphemous.

Not discounting their own popularity, but restrictions on TikTok appear to be benefiting rival platforms. A ban on TikTok in India in 2020 was followed by Instagram launching reels in the same year, which resulted in Instagram becoming the most downloaded app in the world during the fourth quarter of 2021, which also happened to be its best quarter since 2014. This was only the second time since 2019 that TikTok had not been the most downloaded app worldwide in any quarter.

Amid rumors of a TikTok ban in the United States, a survey by Cowen showed that more than a quarter (26%) of adult Americans said that they would switch to Instagram reels, while 21% would prefer YouTube shorts if the government restricted access to the Chinese short-video app.

Numbers released in August this year by Meta Platforms, Inc. (NASDAQ:META), which owns both Facebook and Instagram, revealed that its revenue from reels was narrowing in on TikTok. Meta Platforms, Inc. (NASDAQ:META)’s annual revenue run rate jumped up from $3 billion to $10 billion compared to last fall, which was close to TikTok’s $9.9 billion earnings from ads revenue last year.

Company CEO Mark Zuckerberg made the following remarks in Meta Platforms, Inc. (NASDAQ:META) Q2 2023 Earnings Call:

Investments that we’ve made over the years in AI, including the billions of dollars we’ve spent on AI infrastructure are clearly paying-off across our ranking and recommendation systems and improving engagement and monetization. AI recommended content from accounts you don’t follow is now the fastest-growing category of content on Facebook’s feed. Now, since introducing these recommendations, they’ve driven a 7% increase in overall time spent on the platform. This improves the experience because you can now discover things that you might not have otherwise followed or come across. Reels is a key part of this discovery engine and Reels plays exceed 200 billion per day across Facebook and Instagram. We’re seeing good progress on Reels monetization as well with the annual revenue run-rate across our apps now exceeding $10 billion, up from $3 billion last fall.

Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s video-sharing website YouTube launched its own short-form video segment, called Shorts, in September 2020, and entered the race to win the short-video war along with TikTok and Instagram. YouTube rolled out Shorts on TV in November 2022, which further helped boost the company’s new feature. According to Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), YouTube Shorts receive an estimated 50 billion views each day.

Shorts have been instrumental in growing YouTube’s audience, and subsequently bolstering its financial performance. Here is what Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) had to say in the company’s Q2 2023 Earnings Call:

Earlier this year, we shared that revenues across YouTube products were nearly $40 billion for the 12 months ending in March. I’m really pleased with how YouTube is growing audiences and driving increased engagement. YouTube Shorts are now watched by over 2 billion logged-in users every month, up from 1.5 billion just one year ago. The living room remained our fastest-growing screen in 2022 in terms of watch time. We are reaching more than 150 million people on connected TV screens in the U.S. and seeing growth in momentum internationally. And on Subscriptions, there is good growth. Late last year, we announced over 80 million YouTube Music and Premium subscribers.


We have listed the 20 countries and states where TikTok is banned using various news reports and government announcements that featured in the press regarding restrictions on the Chinese short-video application. We will first begin by countries or states where TikTok is partially banned, before moving on to territories where it faces a complete ban. Places are ranked in descending order of dates, in that countries or states that banned them earlier outrank nations that restricted TikTok later than them.

TikTok is Banned in these 20 States and Countries Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash

Let’s now head over to our list.

TikTok is banned in these 20 States and Countries:

20. Florida, USA

Status: Partially Banned

Since: May 2023

The governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, signed a bill in May this year to ban TikTok in schools from Kindergarten to grade 12 to protect private information of users. The Chinese app was also banned from universities and government servers.

19. Australia

Status: Partially Banned

Since: April 2023

19th on our list of countries and US states where TikTok is banned is Australia. Australia’s Attorney General, upon receiving advice from the country’s intelligence agencies, decided to ban TikTok on devices issued by the Australian government. However, they could still use the application on their personal devices.

21.3 million people in Australia use YouTube, according to Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), which is about 84% of all internet users in the country. Meta Platforms, Inc. (NASDAQ:META)’s apps also remain popular, with Facebook having an estimated 14.9 million users, while Instagram had 11.7 million. In comparison, there are 8.3 million TikTok users in Australia.

18. United States

Status: Partially Banned

Since March 2023

The US government gave government agencies a month’s time to delete TikTok from all government devices, on February 28. The deadline concluded on March 28. A group of lawmakers are also currently pushing for a bill that would allow President Biden to place a nationwide ban on TikTok.

TikTok still remains popular in the US with an estimated 116 million users in 2023 according to DataReportal. However, this number is well below Instagram’s 143 million and 246 million for YouTube.

17. France

Status: Partially Banned

Since: March 2023

The French government on March 24 announced that it was banning government employees from recreational use of Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok among other applications, citing the risk of data breach. It did not specifically name TikTok, but the decision followed restrictions placed on TikTok by several members of the European Union in the same month.

16. Netherlands

Status: Partially Banned

Since: March 2023

The Netherlands is 16th on our list of places where TikTok is banned. The Dutch government banned TikTok along with some other apps in March this year, and without naming TikTok or China, it discouraged government servants in the Netherlands from using applications which belonged to countries that had aggressive cyber programs against Dutch interests.

15. New Zealand

Status: Partially Banned

Since: March 2023

The New Zealand government’s ban on TikTok is only limited to about 500 people working in the parliamentary complex, including lawmakers. It does not apply to all government employees like in most other countries. Moreover, the restriction can be waived off for any individual wanting to use the Chinese app to perform their democratic duties.

14. United Kingdom

Status: Partially Banned

Since: March 2023

British authorities placed an immediate ban on the use of TikTok on security grounds for government officials in March this year. The Scottish government also banned TikTok on work devices issued to their employees. The BBC also urged its employees to not use the Chinese application, unless necessary.

The general public however is not barred from using TikTok. There are about 20 million users of TikTok in the UK.

13. Belgium

Status: Partially Banned

Since: March 2023

Belgium placed a temporary six month ban on TikTok for government employees in March this year citing security and privacy concerns. The ban was extended again in September, and is applicable on all government officials, including cabinet ministers and civil servants.

Among the general public, an estimated 3.52 million people in Belgium use TikTok which represents 32% of the local population that has access to the internet. YouTube is the most preferred social media video application with 85% of the people using the platform.

12. Denmark

Status: Partially Banned

Since: March 2023

Denmark, like other countries in the region, placed a partial ban on TikTok in March 2023 ordering all government employees to remove the app from their phones. Reasons cited by the Danish government included cybersecurity risks and that there is very limited work-related need to use TikTok.

11. Norway

Status: Partially Banned

Since: March 2023

Upon receiving a warning from the Justice Ministry about risks associated with TikTok, the Norwegian parliament decided to ban the app on work devices issued to government employees. In Oslo and Bergen, the two largest cities of the country, local governments also urged members of the municipality to delete TikTok from their phones.

10. Latvia

Status: Partially Banned

Since: March 2023

Latvian foreign minister Edgars Rinkēvičs tweeted on March 1, 2023 that he was deleting TikTok from his phone and also prohibited all other officials of the foreign ministry from using the app.

9. Canada

Status: Partially Banned

Since: February 2023

According to the Canadian government, TikTok presents risks to privacy and security that are ‘unacceptable’. It barred all government employees from downloading the Chinese app on government-issued devices.

An estimated 30% of Canada’s population, that has internet access, used Tiktok, compared with 44% for Instagram.

8. Taiwan

Status: Partially Banned

Since: December 2022

Taiwan, near the end of 2022, placed a public ban on government officials from downloading Chinese apps TikTok, Douyin, and Xiaohongshu on their official devices including phones, tablets and desktops.

YouTube, Facebook and Instagram remain the three most popular social media platforms in the country. Only about 20% of Taiwan’s population has a TikTok account.

7. Finland

Status: Partially Banned

Since: August 2022

After the government in Finland banned its officials and employees from using TikTok in 2022, a number of other companies and organizations in the country followed, including forestry firm Stora, which cited cybersecurity concerns as the reason to restrict its employees from using the Chinese app.

There are nearly twice as many Instagram users in Finland, compared to TikTok. 2.40 million against 1.40 million.

6. New York, USA

Status: Partially Banned

Since: August 2020

New York was the first state back in 2020 that internally banned downloading TikTok on government-owned devices. This year the New York City administration publicly announced a ban on TikTok on all city-issued devices.

Click to continue reading and see Top 5 States and Countries That Have Banned TikTok.

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Disclosure: None. TikTok is Banned in these 20 States and Countries is originally published on Insider Monkey.

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