MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said Friday that he will soon announce a ban on the use of TikTok on state phones, joining the growing number of states that prohibited the popular social media app that national lawmakers are trying to ban.
Evers told WISN-TV that he will order a ban as soon as early next week. He said the decision came after he consulted with the FBI and emergency management officials. Evers’ spokesperson Britt Cudaback confirmed that the ban would be announced next week and said more details would come then.
TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese company that moved its headquarters to Singapore in 2020. It has been targeted by Republicans who say the Chinese government could access user data, such as browsing history and location. U.S. armed forces also have prohibited the app on military devices.
Republican members of Wisconsin’s congressional delegation called on Evers last month to ban the app, citing their concerns that the Chinese government could use TikTok to spy on users and spread propaganda.
Evers has said that only about 12 state phones have TikTok on them. Evers himself does not have a personal or official TikTok account, but he did maintain an account supporting his reelection campaign earlier this year. His office has said that account was not used on any state-issued devices.
At least 18 other states have instituted bans on the use of TikTok on government devices.