TikTok Halts ‘Lite’ Rewards Program, Fending Off EU Suspension

(Bloomberg) -- ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok said it halted the controversial rewards program on its Lite app before European Union watchdogs carried out their threat to temporarily ban the feature over fears it could be addictive for children.

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The Chinese-owned platform’s decision, announced on X, was welcomed by the EU’s bloc’s internal market commissioner, Thierry Breton. Earlier this week he warned of possible fines, a partial ban and series of ultimatums over a missing risk assessment and other paperwork over the rollout of the service in some EU states.

“Our children are not guinea pigs for social media,” he said in a statement on X. “I take note of TikTok’s decision to suspend the #TikTokLite ‘Reward Program’ in the EU. The cases against TikTok on the risk of addictiveness of the platform continue.”

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In its own statement, TikTok said it “always seeks to engage constructively with the EU commission and other regulators.”

“We are therefore voluntarily suspending the rewards functions in TikTok Lite while we address the concerns that they have raised,” it added.

The EU spat over compliance with a new law called the Digital Services Act comes as US Congress passed legislation Tuesday evening that would force TikTok’s Chinese parent company to sell its stake or face a total ban of the app in America.

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TikTok said the move was “unconstitutional,” and the company will challenge it in court.

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