TikTok will be used by China to ‘influence’ young voters, warns minister

YOUNG voters on TikTok are at risk of election influence from the Chinese, the security minister has warned.

The video sharing app will be used to “influence minds” of first-time voters, Tom Tugendhat fears.

Tom Tugendhat fears the video sharing app will be used to 'influence minds' of first-time voters

Tom Tugendhat fears the video sharing app will be used to ‘influence minds’ of first-time votersCredit: PA

More than seven per cent of people now say that they get news from Chinese-owned TikTok.

Mr Tugendhat told a Policy Exchange event: “For too long foreign interference has been slowly creeping into British democracy.

He said he was worried by influence from “organisations whose editorial board is comprised of members of the Chinese Communist Party”.

Social media has long been replacing traditional media like the BBC and ITV, but “foreign states hold considerable sway” over what is now being seen on screens, he said.

Among teenagers, the platform is the second-most used for news, according to Ofcom.

Despite Rishi Sunak refusing to dub China a direct “threat” to the UK, Mr Tugendhat insisted: “You know my words – I’ve used them before and I’ll use them again.

“There are threats emerging from Beijing, from Tehran and from Moscow.”