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TikTok's plan to pay users to watch videos has just hit a snag

TikTok could face some hefty fines and potentially a suspension.

Published onApril 22, 2024

TikTok 1
Joe Hindy / Android Authority
  • TikTok Lite offers a rewards program that compensates users for watching videos, liking content, following creators, and inviting friends.
  • The app was recently launched in France and Spain, but the European Commission is threatening to suspend the app.
  • The Commission claims TikTok did not adequately respond to questions about the app’s impact on users’s mental health before releasing it in Europe.

To foster growth in Europe, TikTok planned to release a new iOS and Android app called TikTok Lite that would compensate users for engaging with content. The app launched in France and Spain this month, but it could soon be shut down by the European Commission.

According to a report from Reuters, the European Commission claims TikTok did not provide an adequate response to questions from regulators about TikTok Lite’s impact on user mental health before launching the app. The European Commission is arguing that this violates the EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA), which requires large platforms, like TikTok, to perform a risk assessment of harmful and illegal content on the platform.

Now European Commission executive Thierry Breton is threatening to trigger fines and potentially suspend the app. The main concern appears to be related to potential addiction that could be caused by TikTok Lite’s rewards program. Breton states:

Unless TikTok provides compelling proof of its safety, which it has failed to do until now, we stand ready to trigger DSA interim measures including the suspension of TikTok Lite feature which we suspect could generate addiction.

Failure to comply with the DSA can result in fines of up to 6% of a company’s global annual turnover. On top of that, TikTok could also face fines of up to 1% of its global annual turnover for failing to respond to a request from the Commission.

Breton has reportedly warned TikTok that it has 24 hours to send over a risk assessment report before fines are initiated. It will have until May 3 to deliver any other information the Commission has asked for.

TikTok Lite operates just like the normal version of the app, serving videos that users can engage with through liking, sharing, following, and more. However, TikTok Lite rewards users with points for these actions, which can be redeemed for gift cards or digital tips that can be given to creators.

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