Yahoo! Finance obtained an email from Amazon that was sent around noon ET on Friday, which told employees in the U.S. to remove TikTok from all mobile devices that were also connected to their Amazon emails. Employees had until the end of the day, or they would lose access to their email. However, the rule only applies to mobile devices, as the company is still allowing employees to access TikTok on their Amazon laptops. Just hours later, Amazon's employees in Europe also received a similar ultimatum.
"Due to security risks, the TikTok app is no longer permitted on mobile devices that access Amazon email," the message read. "If you have TikTok on your device, you must remove it by Jul-10 to retain mobile access to Amazon email. At this time, using TikTok from your Amazon laptop browser is allowed."
This kind of decision isn't out of the norm for Amazon, as the company regularly tells employees to comply with various software updates by certain dates or risk losing work email access. Although, the timetable of less than one day to comply is out of the norm. It also undercuts how seriously the company appears to be taking the potential security risks within the app.
On Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed that the U.S. government was "looking at" banning TikTok, along with a handful of other social media apps. Speaking with Fox News, Pompeo implied that the Trump administration has been looking closely at this issue for some time, but a ban was only recently under serious consideration. He also argued that the video app could pose a national security risk.
"We are taking this very seriously. We are certainly looking at it," Pompeo said. "We have worked on this very issue for a long time. Whether it was the problems of having Huawei technology in your infrastructure we've gone all over the world and we're making real progress getting that out. We declared ZTE a danger to American national security." It's also the latest endeavor by the U.S. government to go after Washington has repeatedly gone after Huawei, the company behind the app. In recent years, intelligence experts have speculated that its equipment and software could be used for espionage, which the company has denied.