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Montana becomes first US state to ban TikTok on personal devices

Montana is the first US state to ban the popular Chinese video-sharing app TikTok on personal devices.

The Republican Governor of the state, Greg Gianforte, signed legislation that prohibits mobile app stores from selling the app.

It is illegal for app stores that already offer TikTok to continue doing so. However, those who have the app can still use it.

The new law would prohibit the download of TikTok within the state. It would also fine any “entity”, such as an app store or TikTok, $10,000 (PS8,000), per day for each person who is “offered the option” to download or access the social media platform. Users would not be subject to the penalties.


The measure will take effect on 1 January 2024 and is likely to be challenged in court.

TikTok is a Chinese-owned tech platform owned by ByteDance. It has come under scrutiny for fears that it may hand over data about its users to the Chinese government, or spread propaganda and misinformation in support of Beijing.

TikTok claims that none of these things has ever occurred.

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Are the US citizens threatened by TikTok?

After signing the bill on Wednesday, Mr Gianforte said: “Today Montana takes the most resolute action of any other state to protect Montanans’ private data and sensitive information from being harvested or misused by the Chinese Communist Party.”

Brooke Oberwetter is a TikTok representative who argues that the law violates people’s First Amendment Rights and is illegal.

She said: “We want Montanans to know that they can use TikTok as a way to express themselves, make a living and build community, while we continue to work to defend our users’ rights inside and outside Montana.”

In March, TikTok’s chief executive tried to assure the US Congress that its parent company was and not an “agent” of Beijing. He also claimed there were no risks to national security.

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Montana’s latest action comes after it banned the app from government-owned devices back in December.

Over half of US States and the Federal Government have similar bans.


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