Popular GOP Governor Bans TikTok on State-Owned Devices

Governor Kristi Noem

(ReclaimingAmerica.net) – South Dakota’s popular Republican Governor, Kristi Noem, has banned all state employees from using the Chinese-owned social media platform TikTok on state-owned devices.

Noem’s Executive Order 2022-10, which she signed on Wednesday, prohibits state civil servants as well as agencies and contractors from using South Dakota-sponsored smartphones or computers to download the TikTok mobile phone app and visit the platform’s website, Newsmax reported.

The GOP governor, who was reelected in a landslide earlier this month, made it clear she acted out of concern TikTok may be feeding information directly to the government of Communist China and the ruling Chinese Communist Party.

“South Dakota will have no part in the intelligence gathering operations of nations who hate us,” Noem said in a statement.

“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,” she added.

“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,” the governor elaborated.

TikTok’s owner Bytedance is based in Beijing, and in the spring of 2021, a Chinese government official took one of its three board seats.

In September, TikTok Chief Operating Officer Vanessa Pappas claimed in a US Senate hearing that no members of the Chinese Communist Party “make strategic decisions at this platform.”

On July 1, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew confirmed that employees based in China can access the data of US users using “approval protocols.”

Former President Donald Trump signed three executive orders to ban TikTok and WeChat, another Chinese-owned social media platform. However, in June 2021, these were reversed by his Democrat successor, President Joe Biden.

In June 2022, Senate Republicans sent a letter to US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, raising the alarm that the Biden administration was not taking seriously potential national security risks stemming from TikTok’s ownership and its ties to the Chinese Communist Party.

Last month, one of the five members of the Federal Communications Commission, Brendan Carr, made it clear a ban on TikTok was highly likely.

“I don’t believe there is a path forward for anything other than a ban,” Carr told Axios.

“There simply isn’t a world in which you could come up with sufficient protection on the data that you could have sufficient confidence that it’s not finding its way back into the hands of the [Chinese Communist Party],” the FCC official added.