Amazon says email to employees banning TikTok was a mistakeFriday, July 10, 2020
SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AP) — Roughly five hours after an internal email went out to employees telling them to delete the popular video app TikTok from their phones, Amazon appeared to backtrack, calling the ban a mistake.
“This morning's email to some of our employees was sent in error. There is no change to our policies right now with regard to TikTok,” Amazon emailed reporters just before 5:00 pm eastern time. Spokeswoman Jaci Anderson declined to answer questions about what happened.
The initial internal email, which was disseminated widely online, told employees to delete TikTok, a video app increasingly popular with young people but also the focus of intensifying national-security and geopolitical concerns because of its Chinese ownership. The email cited “security risks” of the app.
An Amazon employee who confirmed receipt of the initial email but was not authorized to speak publicly had not seen a retraction at the time of Amazon's backtrack.
Amazon is the second-largest US private employer after Walmart, with with more than 840,000 employees worldwide, and moving against TikTok would have escalated pressure on the app.
It is banned on employee phones by the US military and the company is subject to a national-security review of its merger history. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said this week that the government was “certainly looking” at banning the app.
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