Prohibition of TikTok (ByteDance applications) used in research

The growing concern with data security on social media applications, such as TikTok, has resulted in regulations to address these risks. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (Public Law No. 117-328), also known as the “No TikTok on Government Devices Act” requires federal agencies to implement a prohibition on TikTok or any other ByteDance Limited or subsidiary-owned applications on executive agency information technology within 60 days of the enactment.

On June 2, 2023, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) clause “Prohibition on a ByteDance Covered Application” (FAR 52.204-27) was issued, effectively prohibiting the use or presence of TikTok or any ByteDance Limited successor application/service on any information technology used by or provided to a contractor, including equipment provided by the contractor’s employees. This means the clause covers personal devices as well as company owned and/or provided devices. 

The Office of Pre-Award Services and Agreements (PASA) has begun seeing FAR 52.204-27 in solicitations for federal contracts and in new contracts and modifications. So, what does all of this mean to CWRU researchers and staff?

  • If you have research funding under a federal procurement contract, it is essential to understand that anyone handling federal contact information in a lab or department may NOT install TikTok or any of the applications listed below, on any CWRU-owned electronic device. If you already have TikTok or any other banned application installed, you must promptly remove these applications from your device.
  • If any member of a research team uses any personal device(s) for federally contract-funded research, they need to remove TikTok and other prohibited applications from their personal device if already installed, and they may not install TikTok or any other prohibited application for as long as the personal device is being used for work on a federally contract-funded research project. 

Prohibited Applications under FAR 52.204-27, includes, but is not limited to:

  • TikTok – social media network and video creation application
  • Douyin – China-specific video creation application (China’s version of TikTok)
  • Toutiao – news and information discovery application
  • Xigua Video – TV content and video sharing application
  • Helo – social media platform (regional)
  • Lark – business collaboration and management tool
  • BytePlus – business analytics tools and computer vision software (business intelligence platform)
  • Nuverse – subsidiary of ByteDance producing various video games

If you have any questions about this new FAR/Federal contract requirement, contact Joan Schenkel, associate vice president of research, at or 216.368.4268.

If you need assistance with ensuring compliance with FAR 52.204-27, contact Miroslav Humer, vice president and chief information officer, at or 216.368.1025.