TikTok to cut staff in Russia, says the social media company in statement

Social media company TikTok said on Friday (December 16) that it will cut its Russian staff. The company has stopped key services for Russian users this year.

TikTok has alread suspended livestreaming and new uploads in Russia after it introduced strict new censorship rules after it invaded Ukraine in Frebruary this year.  

“We have had to make a number of decisions this year about our service in Russia, which now unfortunately includes reducing our Russia-based workforce,” the company said in a statement.

“We will continue to evaluate the evolving circumstances in Russia to determine when we might fully resume our services with safety as our top priority,” it said.

Earlier this week, TikTok drew ire of US lawmakers as US Senate passed a bill to bar federal employees from using the Chinese-owned app on government-owned devices.

The vote is the latest action on the part of US lawmakers to crackdown on Chinese companies amid national security fears that Beijing could use them to spy on Americans.

The Senate action comes after North Dakota and Iowa this week joined a growing number of U.S. states in banning TikTok, owned by ByteDance, from state-owned devices amid concerns that data could be passed on to the Chinese government.

(With inputs from agencies)

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