ByteDance’s new iOS app for kids, New TikTok, has been temporarily disabled in China, due to concerns by Apple that it might be considered “disseminative”, allowing minors to go as long as they like.
Apple recently removed four New Taiwan TikTok apps for children from its Chinese app store and banned the makers of a Make Me A Bird app for young children, because it was thought the apps might enable children under the age of 18 to make inappropriate content.
The decision was revealed on an official Chinese government forum in June, but after the company’s new app was launched in July, Apple reversed its initial decision, letting the app be made freely available in the Chinese market.
However, after Apple responded to enquiries from organisations like Chinese State Internet Information Office (CSIO), and child welfare group Otoko, it appears that the company has now decided to ban all TikTok apps for children in China until further notice.
“Starting from 8th of July, New TikTok, edited version and it cannot be further distributed and pre-installed or sold or distributed anywhere,” the official statement reads.
[Image: screenshot from ByteDance’s New TikTok]
According to eagle-eyed social media users, users in mainland China are having a hard time accessing New TikTok, with many being greeted with the message, “We are sorry, but New TikTok for Kids is still under user test, please wait until the test period is finished”.
The technology can be accessed in the US and Europe, via third-party software such as virtual private network (VPN) but it’s not available in China at the moment.
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