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Amazon Said Its Memo Forcing Employees To Delete The TikTok App Was An "Error"

Citing "security risks," the company had said TikTok must be deleted for Amazon employees to access their work email accounts.

Last updated on July 10, 2020, at 5:12 p.m. ET

Posted on July 10, 2020, at 2:31 p.m. ET

Manjunath Kiran / Getty Images

Amazon is walking back an internal email it sent to employees on Friday asking them to delete TikTok from phones, saying it was "in error."

According to the leaked email obtained by the New York Times, Amazon had asked all employees to immediately delete the app from any device that has access to their work emails.

"Due to security risks, the TikTok app is no longer permitted on mobile devices that access Amazon email," the internal memo reportedly stated.

Here's the email Amazon sent to employees this morning banning TikTok from employee phones. "If you have TikTok on your device, you must remove it by 10-Jul to retain mobile access to Amazon email."

Amazon did not respond to BuzzFeed News' initial request for comment. Later, the company said there was no change in its policy after all.

"This morning’s email to some of our employees was sent in error," Amazon said. "There is no change to our policies right now with regard to TikTok."

A spokesperson for TikTok had earlier told BuzzFeed News they had not been notified of Amazon's initial emails to staff.

"While Amazon did not communicate to us before sending their email, and we still do not understand their concerns, we welcome a dialogue so we can address any issues they may have and enable their team to continue participating in our community," the spokesperson said. "We're proud that tens of millions of Americans turn to TikTok for entertainment, inspiration, and connection, including many of the Amazon employees and contractors who have been on the frontlines of this pandemic."

TikTok, which is owned by ByteDance, a Beijing-based company, has become a cybersecurity talking point since Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during a Fox television appearance on Monday that the US government is considering banning the app.

"With respect to Chinese apps on people’s cellphones, I can assure you the United States will get this one right too, Laura,” Pompeo told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham. "I don’t want to get out in front of the president, but it’s something we’re looking at."


This story has been updated with a statement from Amazon saying the initial emails about a TikTok ban were sent erroneously.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.