San Francisco: In an effort to protect residents from alleged Chinese intelligence gathering, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte has signed a bill banning Chinese short-form video platform TikTok in the US state.
It is the first US state to ban this popular short video app.
“To protect Montanans’ personal and private data from the Chinese Communist Party, I have banned TikTok in Montana,” Gianforte tweeted on Wednesday.
The bill prevents TikTok from operating “within the territorial jurisdiction of Montana” and requires that its app be removed from Montana mobile app stores.
Not just TikTok, the Governor also banned Telegram Messenger, Chinese app WeChat, Temu, CapCut and Lemon8.
“TikTok is just one app tied to foreign adversaries. Today I directed the state’s Chief Information Officer to ban any application that provides personal information or data to foreign adversaries from the state network,” Gianforte said.
Montana’s new policy will come into effect on June 1.
As mentioned in the bill, the list of devices that can’t have the apps includes — “all state-issued cell phones, laptops, tablets, desktop computers, and other devices which connect to the internet”.
Moreover, the ban will not only apply to government employees — according to Gianforte, “any third-party firms conducting business on behalf of or for the State of Montana shall not use these applications”.
As of December, he had already blocked TikTok on government devices or devices connected to the state network, so this policy extends that policy to several other major apps.