Amazon staff told to delete TikTok over 'security risks', reports say

The TikTok app. Credit: PA

Amazon has asked its employees to delete video sharing app TikTok from their phones because of what they are say are "security risks" on the platform, reports say.

The company has since said the email was a mistake.

In an email obtained by the New York Times and sent to Amazon employees, the company says that “the TikTok app is no longer permitted on mobile devices that access Amazon email”.

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

However, according to the email, the company will continue to allow employees to use TikTok on their laptop.

Despite asking employees to remove TikTok on their phones, Amazon has multiple accounts on the platform and posts regularly.

While it has never posted from its main verified amazon account, the account for its streaming service Amazon Prime has posted over 500 videos and gained 1.6 million followers.

The app is popular with young people, including millions of American users. Credit: PA

It is not yet known how many employees will be affected by the ban or how far it extends, but it marks another significant moment in the app’s history.

It comes after India banned TikTok, alongside 58 other Chinese-owned apps, and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned the app could be banned in the US.

On Monday the app also announced that it would leave Hong Kong after China imposed a strict new security law on the city.

The company revealed on Wednesday that it had removed 49 million videos in the second half of 2019 because they broke content rules.

A TikTok spokesperson said: "User security is of the utmost importance to TikTok – we are fully committed to respecting the privacy of our users.

"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.

"We're proud that tens of millions of Americans turn to TikTok for entertainment, inspiration, and connection, including many of the Amazon employees and contractors who have been on the frontlines of this pandemic."Amazon has now said the email that was sent out was a mistake.