EU Threatens TikTok with Fines and Suspension Over TikTok Lite’s Addictive Features

European Union officials are issuing stern warnings to TikTok, threatening the social media platform with substantial fines and the suspension of certain features of its new spinoff app, TikTok Lite, over concerns regarding addictive elements.

TikTok Lite, a less data-intensive version of TikTok’s main app, has come under scrutiny for its feature that rewards users with cash for engaging with TikTok content and app features. EU regulators fear that this feature could potentially lead to addiction among users, particularly in Spain and France where TikTok Lite has been introduced.

The European Commission’s announcement on Monday marks a significant move under the Digital Services Act (DSA), highlighting the bloc’s emphasis on protecting minors from potential harm. This inquiry into TikTok Lite represents the EU’s second major investigation into TikTok, focusing specifically on the risks posed to users’ mental health.

In response, TikTok expressed disappointment with the EU’s decision, asserting that the rewards hub in TikTok Lite is not accessible to users under 18 and includes daily limits on video watch tasks. However, the company faces a 48-hour deadline to defend its reward program to EU officials.

Failure to provide the necessary information, including a risk assessment report and steps taken to minimize risks associated with TikTok Lite, could result in fines of up to 1% of TikTok’s global annual revenue. Additionally, TikTok could face further fines of up to 6% of its global annual revenue if TikTok Lite features are found to violate the DSA.

The EU’s actions signal a new level of scrutiny and enforcement under the DSA, with the potential for TikTok to face suspension and significant financial penalties if compliance is not met.

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