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Amazon email telling staff to delete TikTok app was ‘sent in error’

Amazon has said it mistakenly sent an email to employees telling them to delete the popular video app TikTok from their phones.

“This morning’s email to some of our employees was sent in error. There is no change to our policies right now with regard to TikTok,” Amazon said in an emailed statement.

Amazon had told employees to delete the popular video app from phones on which they use Amazon email, citing “security risks” from the China-owned service.

tiktok
Image: TikTok said Amazon did not notify it before sending the email

“The TikTok app is no longer permitted on mobile devices that access Amazon email,” the notice read, which was sent on Friday, according to an employee who is not authorised to speak publicly.

Amazon is the second-largest US private employer after Walmart, with more than 840,000 employees worldwide.

In an emailed statement, TikTok said Amazon did not notify it before sending the email.

“We still do not understand their concerns,” it continued, adding that the company would welcome a dialogue to address Amazon’s issues.

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Chinese internet giant ByteDance owns TikTok, which is designed for users outside of China, as well as a Chinese version called Douyin.

Like YouTube, TikTok relies on its users for the videos that populate its app and is popular with young people, including millions of American users.

But it has racked up concerns ranging from censorship of videos, including those critical of the Chinese government, the threat of sharing user data with Chinese officials to violating kids’ privacy.

Members of the Working Journalist of India (WJI) hold placards urging citizens to remove Chinese apps and stop using Chinese products during a demonstration against the Chinese newspaper Global Times, in New Delhi on June 30, 2020.
Image: The Indian government has threatened to ban the app

These fears led to Donald Trump’s administration threatening to impose a ban on China-based social media apps earlier this week.

And last week the Indian government said it would ban TikTok, along with more than 50 other Chinese apps, amid tensions between the two countries.

Meanwhile, TikTok has said it will no longer operate in Hong Kong after China’s new national security law demanded it hand over user data.

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