By Foo Yun Chee
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Chinese short video sharing app TikTok will have a month to respond to multiple complaints from European Union consumer groups that it allegedly violated the bloc’s consumer laws and failed to protect children from hidden advertising and inappropriate content.
Owned by Chinese firm ByteDance, TikTok has seen rapid growth around the world, especially among teenagers. However, a series of incidents raised concerns about its privacy and security policies.
The European Commission said on Friday it started a formal dialogue with TikTok and national consumer groups to review the company’s business practices and policy.
European Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders said that increased digitization triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic has created new risks, particularly for vulnerable consumers.
“In the European Union, targeting children and minors with disguised advertising such as video ads is prohibited,” he said in a statement.
(Edited in Spanish by Carlos Serrano)