K-Pop stars’ TikTok China accounts blocked after South Korea fines app for data privacy non-compliance

TikTok Pte Ltd, the publisher of the app, was fined $154,320 for collecting personal information of children under 14 years of age without consent from guardians

Some K-pop stars’ accounts have been blocked from view on TikTok’s China version Douyin, Reuters’ checks showed on Friday, days after South Korea’s media regulator slapped fines on the short-video app for data privacy non-compliance.

The reasons for the blocks were unknown, but the move also comes after remarks by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the United States is “certainly looking at” banning Chinese social media apps, including TikTok.

South Korea’s communications regulator on Wednesday fined TikTok Pte Ltd, the publisher of the app, 186 million won ($154,320) for collecting personal information of children under 14 years of age without consent from guardians and failing to disclose or notify when sending personal information overseas.

TikTok was required to submit voluntary preventative measures within 30 days, and the regulator planned to continue discussions with TikTok on information security issues, an official with the Korea Communications Commission said.

Accounts of K-Pop stars such as Rain, TWICE, Mamamoo and HyunA were blocked from view on Douyin as of Friday.

Douyin and TikTok operated independently and the accounts were working normally on TikTok, a TikTok spokeswoman said.

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