Wisconsin becomes the latest state to ban TikTok on govt. devices, also bans other Chinese companies


Wisconsin and North Carolina signed orders that banned TikTok on government-issued and maintained devices owing to cybersecurity concerns on Thursday. Wisconsin and North Carolina join Kansas, Ohio and several other states to

ban the social media platform owned by ByteDance. 

Wisconsin becomes the latest state to ban TikTok on govt. devices, also bans other Chinese companies

Wisconsin and North Carolina took the tally of states which banned TikTok in the US over 20. Wisconsin has also banned other Chinese businesses and several Russian businesses as well.

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers also announced that the state would be banning vendors, products and services from other Chinese companies including Huawei Technologies, Hikvision, Tencent – the owner of WeChat, and ZTE Corp. Wisconsin is also banning some Russian businesses as well from government-issued devices. Russian-based Kaspersky Lab is one such business. 

“In the digital age, defending our state’s technology and cybersecurity infrastructure and protecting digital privacy has to be a top priority for us as a state,” Evers said.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed an order directing officials to develop a policy within 14 days that prohibits the use of TikTok, WeChat and “potentially other applications” that present cybersecurity risks on state devices.

So far, more than 20 states have banned the social media platform along with several other applications that are owned by Chinese technology conglomerate ByteDance from government-issued devices. 


TikTok, meanwhile put out a statement, saying it was “disappointed that so many states are jumping on the political bandwagon to enact policies that will do nothing to advance cybersecurity in their states and are based on unfounded falsehoods about TikTok.”

TikTok’s CEO Shou Zi Chew recently met officials in the EU to assure them that they take user’s privacy and cybersecurity very seriously. 

TikTok is looking at getting banned in the United States at a federal level after FBI Director Christopher Wray said in November it poses national security risks. Wray flagged the threat that the Chinese government could harness the app to influence users or control their devices.

For three years, TikTok has been seeking to assure Washington that the personal data of U.S. citizens cannot be accessed and its content cannot be manipulated by China’s Communist Party or any other entity under Beijing’s influence.

Last month, President Joe Biden signed into law a government funding bill that included a ban on federal employees from using or downloading TikTok on government-owned devices.

The law gives the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 60 days “to develop standards and guidelines for executive agencies requiring the removal” of TikTok from federal devices.