Amazon backtracks email asking employees to delete TikTok from their phones

TikTok has been trying to appease critics in the US and distance itself from its Chinese roots but finds itself caught in geopolitical crossfire

It continues: "If you have TikTok on your device, you must remove it by 10-Jul to retain mobile access to Amazon email".

A Wall Street Journal report earlier quoted an internal Amazon memo as saying that "employees must delete TikTok to be able to continue accessing their email from their phones".

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"We're proud that hundreds of millions of people turn to TikTok for entertainment, inspiration, and connection, including numerous Amazon employees and contractors who have been on the frontlines of this pandemic", the spokesperson said.

DailyMail.com has reached out to Amazon for comment and has yet to receive a response.

The online retailer sent the email Thursday morning, adding that employees could still access TikTok from their work laptops.

TikTok parent ByteDance recently formed an e-commerce business unit as the short-video giant steps up efforts to capitalize on the platform's popularity - a move that also puts the company in a position to directly compete with the likes of Amazon.

TikTok halts Hong Kong access after security law

As for sharing U.S. user data with the Chinese government, the company says it stores USA user data in the US and Singapore, not China; that its data centres are outside of China; and it would not give the government access to U.S. user data even if asked. India is one of TikTok's largest markets and had previously briefly banned the app in 2019 because of worries about children and sexual content.

It was banned briefly a year ago after concerns were raised about the app being used to distribute pornography.

The news comes just four days after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. was "looking into" banning TikTok because it poses a threat to national security.

A company spokeswoman said there has been no change in its policy on TikTok. 'I don't want to get out in front of the President [Donald Trump], but it's something we're looking at'. USA officials are growing anxious the Chinese government will be able to compel Bytedance to secretly hand over users' private information for spying purposes.

The government last month outlawed dozens of Chinese apps including ByteDance's popular video-sharing app TikTok, Alibaba's UC Browser and Tencent's messaging app WeChat, saying they posed a "threat to sovereignty and integrity".

However, some had raised concerns that TikTok may have completely shut down, as there has been rumors in the past that it would one day come to an end amid increased governmental scrutiny.

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