Amazon urges employees to delete TikTok from phones due to security risks


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Amazon has asked employees to remove TikTok from their mobile devices by July 10 due to certain “security risks,” according to an internal email obtained by CNBC. The company said the app is no longer allowed on phones that access Amazon email.

“If you have TikTok on your device, you must delete it by July 10th to maintain mobile access to your Amazon email,” it said. “Browser-based use of TikTok on Amazon laptops is currently permitted.” Amazon representatives have not yet commented to reporters.

The move comes as TikTok, owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, comes under scrutiny from Washington. Because of the company's origins, U.S. policymakers are concerned about TikTok's ties to the Chinese government and the latter's ability to access user data.

On Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US was considering banning TikTok and warned that if users download the app, they risk handing over their personal information to the Communist Party. US President Donald Trump then even said that the US could ban TikTok in order to punish China for COVID-19.

TikTok previously said it stores data from American users on servers located in the United States and Singapore, and all of the company's data centers are located outside of China. A TikTok spokesperson told CNBC that the company values users' security and privacy, and added that it was not informed of Amazon's decision before the company notified employees of the new policy.

“While Amazon did not contact us prior to sending out their email, we still do not understand their concerns, welcome dialogue, and are committed to addressing any concerns that arise while allowing their team to continue to participate in our community,” the spokesperson said. “We’re proud that tens of millions of Americans use TikTok to access entertainment, inspiration and connection, including the many Amazon employees and contractors who have been on the front lines during the pandemic.”