The European Commission has issued veiled threats against Chinese social media platform TikTok over the platform's failure to fully comply with incoming EU data regulation laws. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)


After Twitter, Brussels now threatens TikTok


Brussels internal market Commissioner Thierry Breton issued veiled threats against China’s TikTok social media platform after it failed to comply fully with incoming EU data regulation laws.

TikTok needed to “accelerate” efforts to make its platform comply with the EU’s digital services act, Breton told the company’s chief executive Shou Zi Chew.

“More work is needed to be fully ready for the compliance deadline of 25 August,” he said.

By that date, very large online platforms (VLOPs) such as TikTok, Facebook and Twitter need to crack down on “illegal and harmful” content or face hefty fines.

Breton thanked Tiktok, though, for agreeing to a voluntary regulation compliance “stress test” at its EU offices in Dublin.

This was a somewhat friendlier approach than he showed Twitter in May, telling US billionaire owner Elon Musk  – on Twitter: “You can run but you can’t hide,” and “Our teams will be ready for enforcement.”


Breton has repeatedly threatened to ban Twitter from operating in the EU if it failed to comply with the European regulations.

Musk’s support for unbridled free speech has collided with the EU’s voluntary code of practice against disinformation.

Musk replied by pulling the social media giant out of that voluntary code, which in turn aggravated many in the European Commission.

Breton later said, during times of unrest such as France’s recent riots, the EU would soon have powers to completely “cut off” individuals from social media platforms “within hours”.

These powers would apply if social media firms did not immediately remove hate-speech posts such as “for killing, or burning cars”, he said.

The EU’s forward stance in regulating so-called “Big Tech” firms may have somewhat backfired, however, with Facebook owner Meta so far refusing to launch Threads, its Twitter competitor, in the bloc

Meta launched in the US and UK on July 5 but appears to have no plans to make its new platform available within the EU anytime soon.

Fellow US billionaire Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta has said it would await clarification from the EC on how it would implement the digital markets act’s provisions on sharing users’ data across different platforms.

Meanwhile, critics blamed the delayed launch on EU “overregulation” of the tech market and said the act may have created “significant barriers” for businesses to operate new social media products within the bloc.