Belgian Prime Minister Alexandre de Croo said on Saturday that Belgian federal government employees will no longer be allowed to use the Chinese-owned video app TikTok on their work phones.
De Croo said that the Belgian National Security Council had warned of the risks associated with the large amounts of data collected by “TikTok”, which is owned by the Chinese company “ByteDance”, and the fact that the company is obliged to cooperate with the Chinese intelligence services.
“This makes sense to prevent the use of TikTok on phones provided by the Federal Government. The safety of our information must come first,” the prime minister said in a statement.
TikTok said in a statement that it was disappointed by the decision, which it said was based on “fundamentally false information”.
The company said it stores user data in the United States and Singapore and is building data centers in Europe.
“The Chinese government cannot force other sovereign states to share data stored on their territory,” a company spokesperson said.
Last month, the European Commission and European Parliament banned the use of TikTok on employee phones, due to growing concerns about the company and the possibility that the Chinese government could collect user data or advance its interests.
Beijing has repeatedly denied any such intentions.