New Zealand will prohibit the application and access to its services video platform TikTok to members of parliament, officials said today, as the country’s authorities coordinate the step with other Western countries that have taken similar measures.

The prohibition it affects all devices with access to the New Zealand Parliament network, said Rafael Gonzalez-Montero, head of the parliamentary service. It will be effective from March 31.

According to Mr Gonzalez-Montero, the risks posed by using the platform “are not acceptable in the current parliamentary environment in New Zealand”.

“The decision was made on the basis of analyzes by our own experts, after discussion with our colleagues in the government and abroad,” he added.

New Zealand is thus following in his footsteps Canada, United Kingdom and US federal agencies, which already banned the use of TikTok on government devices due to data security concerns.

The European Commission also ordered a ban on the app on its employees’ devices.

The crackdown on the TikTok platform began in India in 2020. The app and social networking site were placed on a list of banned apps following deadly clashes on the border with China, when New Delhi said it was defending its national sovereignty.

In the same year, former US President Donald Trump had described TikTok as a spying tool of Beijing.

TikTok acknowledged in November that some of its employees in China may have accessed European user data and, in December, that its employees used data to spy on journalists. But the company that manages the platform categorically denies that there is any access and any control by the Chinese government on this data. He characterizes the recent measures announced in the West as the result of “fundamental misunderstandings” or moves in the context of broader “geopolitical” pursuits.

The app and platform have huge popularity internationally.

The current president of USA Joe Biden is threatening to completely ban the app and platform in the country if it is not sold by ByteDance, the Chinese company it owns. For its part, China has called for an end to “unjustified” actions against the platform.

According to Mr. Gonzalez-Montero, special arrangements will be made for employees who need the app to perform their duties.