Access to the TikTok from the company’s laptops is still allowed, according to the email, but mobile devices will be cut off from Amazon email unless the app is removed.
Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In a statement, a TikTok spokesperson said Amazon “did not contact us prior to sending their email, and we still do not understand their concerns.”
“We welcome a dialogue so that we can address any issues they may have and allow their team to continue to participate in our community,” added the spokesperson. “We are proud that tens of millions of Americans turn to TikTok for entertainment, inspiration and connection, including many of Amazon’s employees and contractors who have been at the forefront of this pandemic.”
TikTok is owned by the world’s most valuable startup, a Chinese company called ByteDance. But TikTok does not operate in China and functions as an independent subsidiary. TikTok has struggled to establish that distinction, recently appointing an American CEO, noting that its servers are located in the United States and are not subject to Chinese law.
On Friday, the Democratic National Committee warned Democratic campaigns, committees and States parties to take additional safety precautions when using TikTok. In an email obtained by CNN, the DNC security team wrote: “We continue to advise campaign staff to refrain from using TikTok on personal devices. If you are using TikTok for campaign work, we recommend that you use a phone and a separate account. ”
The DNC suggested that the campaigns in a memorandum in December not use TikTok, citing concerns about the “Chinese ties to the app and possibly sending data to the Chinese government.”
TikTok has been downloaded 165 million times in the US and has become a key part of the Internet and popular culture, serving as a platform for viral memes, political satire, and activism.
Donie O’Sullivan contributed to this report.