Amazon has said email sent to staff asking to remove TikTok was “sent in error.” Earlier on Friday, an internal memo had said to the employees to delete the app over “security risks.” A Chinese company owns the app. It comes under scrutiny because of fears it could share data with China. TikTok said it did not understand Amazon’s concerns.
A company spokesperson told the BBC, “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.” Multiple news outlets saw the memo sent to staff stating that the app must be removed from mobile devices.
The memo reads, “Due to security risk, the TikTok app is no longer permitted on mobile devices that access Amazon email. If you have TikTok on your device, you must remove it by July 10 to retain mobile access to Amazon email.” TikTok said the company had not received any communication from Amazon before the email went out.
TikTok is an artificial intelligence-powered short video app that is one of the most downloaded mobile apps in the world. During the coronavirus lockdown, its popularity has only grown. Trump administration has taken attention to it. On Monday Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo told Fox News that it was considering a ban on Chinese social media apps. Pompeo warned the users their private information is at risk of ending up “in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party”.
Chinese start-up ByteDance owns TikTok. They pointed out that its chief executive is American. The company has stated publically several times that it has never, and will never, share TikTok users’ data with the Chinese authorities. The firm announced on Friday that they have decided to halt its operations in Hong Kong. A move designed to show its distance from the Chinese government.