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Amazon orders employees to delete Chinese-owned TikTok over security risks – then retracts it

TikTok video sharing app. (Pexels/Released)

Update: Amazon released a statement saying the earlier email ordering the deletion of TikTok was sent in error.

“This morning’s email to some of our employees was sent in error. There is no change to our policies right now with regard to TikTok,” Amazon told reporters late Friday, according to The Associated Press.

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Amazon on Friday had sent an email ordering its employees to immediately delete the video-sharing app from their phones, citing security threats as it cast a blow to the popular social media platform.

“Due to security risks, the TikTok app is no longer permitted on mobile devices that access Amazon email,” the company said in an email to workers, which was obtained by the Daily News. “At this time, using TikTok from your Amazon laptop browser is allowed.”

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The Seattle-based online retailer’s move comes after the U.S. Army labeled TikTok a security threat and told soldiers to purge it from their devices late last year.

TikTok, which is owned by the Beijing-based tech company ByteDance, said in a statement on Friday that user security is of the “utmost importance” to the company.

“While Amazon did not communicate to us before sending their email, and we still do not understand their concerns, we welcome a dialogue so we can address any issues they may have and enable their team to continue participating in our community,” TikTok said in the statement.

Amazon did not immediately return a request for comment.

Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, a Republican and frequent TikTok antagonist, chimed in on Amazon’s ban.

“Now the whole federal government should follow suit,” Hawley tweeted.

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©2020 New York Daily News

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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This story, originally published by New York Daily News, was updated to include Amazon’s statement retracting the order and calling it a mistake. Amazon’s statement was released after the publication of this article.