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The Clock Has Run Out on TikTok in South Dakota Government

Gov. Kristi Noem signed an executive order this week banning the use of the popular social media platform TikTok on state-issued devices. Noem cited concerns about the platform’s connection to the Chinese government.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem yesterday signed an executive order banning the use of popular social media platform TikTok by state government agencies, employees and contractors using state devices.

According to a press release from Noem's office, the ban is in response to growing national security concerns around data-gathering operations through the site on behalf of the Chinese government.

“South Dakota will have no part in the intelligence-gathering operations of nations who hate us,” said Noem in a press release. “The Chinese Communist Party uses information that it gathers on TikTok to manipulate the American people, and they gather data off the devices that access the platform.”

TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese Internet technology company based in Beijing, and has approximately 656 million users worldwide and 136 million users in the U.S. The company has been criticized for a slew of concerns around data security, its connection to the Chinese government and the influence the platform holds over U.S. citizens.

Now that the order is in place and considered effective immediately, state employees will be prohibited from downloading or using TikTok or visiting its website on state-owned or state-leased electronic devices capable of using the Internet.

“Because of our serious duty to protect the private data of South Dakota citizens, we must take this action immediately. I hope other states will follow South Dakota’s lead, and Congress should take broader action, as well,” Noem said in the release.