• China-based social media video app releases its first report that covers the first half of 2019
  • The report was released on the same day that the US Army announces TikTok ban 
  • According to the US Army the decision was made amidst security concerns

The US Army recently banned the use of the popular social media video app TikTok. The decision was made following TikTok's release of its first transparency report. According to, the US Army considers the app as a cyber threat.

"It is considered a cyber threat," the US Army spokesperson informed "We do not allow it on government phones." The recent ban was announced in the wake of Republican Senator Tom Cotton and Democrat Senator Charles Schumer writing a letter to Joseph Maguire, the US Director of National Intelligence. The letter insists that it is essential for the country to launch an investigation into TikTok to determine if the popular Chinese-owned social media video app is a risk to national security.

"Given these concerns, we ask that the Intelligence Community conduct an assessment of the national security risks posed by TikTok and other China-based content platforms operating in the US and brief Congress on these findings," the letter stated. The popular social media video app TikTok is more popularly known as Douyin in China. It is known as TikTok outside its home region and is owned by ByteDance, a Beijing-based unicorn.

TikTok has admitted that a viral video criticising China's treatment of Muslims was removed
TikTok has admitted that a viral video criticising China's treatment of Muslims was removed AFP / Lionel BONAVENTURE

In the past, US Senator Marco Rubio claimed that TikTok was trying to censor its content in the US to align with the interests of the Chinese government. "[Chinese apps] are increasingly being used to censor content and silence open discussion on topics deemed sensitive by the Chinese Government and Communist Party," the US Senator noted at the time. On the same day that the US Army announced its TikTok ban, the popular social media video app released its first-ever transparency report, which covered the first half of 2019.

It revealed that TikTok had received a lot of requests from various law enforcement and government bodies in markets where the app is available. "We take any request from government bodies extremely seriously, and closely review each such request we receive to determine whether, for example, the request adheres to the required legal process or the content violates local law," the company stated in its transparency report. "TikTok is committed to assisting law enforcement in appropriate circumstances while respecting the privacy and rights of our users."