EU has officially launched an investigation into TikTok

Communication Author: EqualOcean News, Jiahui Liao Editor: Yiru Qian Feb 21, 2024 08:16 PM (GMT+8)

EU has officially launched an investigation into TikTok regarding issues related to the protection of minors and data access. TikTok responded by stating that it has introduced features aimed at protecting teenagers.


It has been learned that on the 19th local time, the European Commission's official website announced that it has formally initiated an investigation into TikTok, the short video social media platform owned by ByteDance, to review whether the online platform has taken sufficient measures to prevent the spread of illegal content and to determine if it has violated the provisions of the European Union's Digital Services Act (DSA) related to the protection of minors and access to research data.

The European Commission stated that based on the preliminary analysis of the risk assessment report sent by TikTok in September 2023 and TikTok's response to the European Commission's requests for information regarding illegal content, the protection of minors, and data access, the European Commission has decided to initiate a formal investigation into TikTok in accordance with the DSA.

According to a report from The Wall Street Journal on the 20th, in response to the EU investigation, TikTok stated that it has already introduced features and settings to protect teenagers and does not allow children under the age of 13 to use the platform. "We will continue to work with experts and the industry to ensure the safety of teenagers on TikTok and look forward to the opportunity to provide detailed explanations to the European Commission."

The DSA was approved in the European Parliament in July of last year and has been applicable to all online platforms in the European Union since February 17, 2024. However, the relevant rules have been applicable since the end of August 2023 to very large online platforms with over 45 million users in the European Union.

The DSA specifically requires very large online platforms to take more measures to address illegal online content and risks to public safety. According to "Deutsche Welle," data from the European Commission shows that TikTok has approximately 136 million monthly active users in the European Union, making it a very large online platform. The Wall Street Journal stated that if TikTok is found to have violated EU regulations, it could potentially face fines of up to 6% of its global annual revenue.

Xiang Ligang, Chairman of the Information Consumption Alliance, stated to Global Times on the 20th that TikTok holds a dominant position in the global short video sector. In order to protect domestic interests, some Western countries have chosen to take regulatory measures to restrict TikTok's development. Xiang Ligang also stated, "If this EU investigation into TikTok is a common occurrence, we need not be overly sensitive. Previously, American tech giants such as Apple and Google have also faced similar investigations in the EU, which is a challenge that tech companies need to face in their overseas development."

This is the second time the European Union has initiated an investigation into internet platforms under the DSA. In December of last year, the European Commission launched an investigation into Elon Musk's social media platform, X, regarding the handling of illegal content and false information, and the investigation is currently ongoing.