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Amazon's IT department has told its employees that if the device in question has access to the company's corporate email, they still need to remove TikTok, the popular video sharing app, from their phones.
A source that did not want to be named informed Fortune of the order on Friday morning and informed him by email that the app was installed on his phone. In the meantime, a reporter from tech news site The Information tweeted a screenshot of the order:
: Amazon's IT department instructed * all employees * to delete TikTok from their cell phones because of "security risks". Pic.twitter.com/HxzlK8RKgi
– Mark Di Stefano (@MarkDiStef), July 10, 2020
The source Fortune contacted said the message in the tweet above is correct.
For its part, Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the alleged order or why it had decided to issue it.
The decree announced by Amazon is likely to increase control over TikTok, owned by Beijing-based company ByteDance. Critics say users of the app are vulnerable to government espionage in China, where many companies are not independent of the ruling Communist Party.
The Amazon regulation that employees can continue to access TikTok on their laptops also comes in the same week that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Donald Trump called for TikTok to be banned. It is unclear whether a broad-based ban in the United States would be constitutional, and civil rights lawyers have found that the federal government may only be able to ban its employees from using TikTok.
TikTok has contested claims that it is vulnerable to Chinese espionage and has referred to its activities in the United States to indicate that it is an American company.
"Although Amazon did not notify us prior to sending the email and we still do not understand their concerns, we welcome a dialogue so we can address any issues and let their team continue to join our community," the company said in a statement .
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