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TikTok suspends new app's reward programme amid EU concerns

FILE PHOTO: Illustration shows TikTok app logo

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -TikTok will voluntarily suspend its new app TikTok Lite's reward programme while it tries to resolve EU concerns, the company said on X social media platform on Wednesday.

The European Commission is using its Digital Services Act (DSA) rules to force major online companies to do more to tackle illegal and harmful content on their platforms, with TikTok targeted for its impact on children.

The EU executive had given the ByteDance-owned company until today to address its concerns about the potentially addictive nature of the reward programme for children or face a temporary suspension of the feature.

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"TikTok 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," the company said on X.

EU industry chief Thierry Breton, who has opened two investigations into TikTok, took note of the suspension.

"Our cases against TikTok on the risk of addictiveness of the platform continue, including the investigation to establish whether the launch of TikTok Lite was done in compliance with the DSA," he said in a statement.

"Our children are not guinea pigs for social media."

TikTok Lite's reward programme allows users to earn points while performing certain tasks on the platform such as watching videos, liking content, following creators or inviting friends to join.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)