Photo by Ivan Radic/Flickr Creative Commons.

Gov. Larry Hogan has banned TikTok and other “Chinese and Russian-influenced products and platforms” from Maryland’s executive branch.

Hogan, whose second and final term as Maryland governor will end next month, said Tuesday that these platforms threaten cybersecurity.

“There may be no greater threat to our personal safety and our national security than the cyber vulnerabilities that support our daily lives,” Hogan said in a statement. “As the cyber capital of America, Maryland has taken bold and decisive actions to prepare for and address cybersecurity threats. To further protect our systems, we are issuing this emergency directive against foreign actors and organizations that seek to weaken and divide us.”

The directive involves “TikTok; Huawei Technologies; ZTE Corp; Tencent Holdings, including but not limited to: Tencent QQ, QQ Wallet, and WeChat; Alibaba products, including but not limited to: AliPay; and Kaspersky,” state officials said Tuesday.

State agencies are required to remove these products and platforms from state networks and prevent them from being installed, used or accessed.

“This action represents a critical step in protecting Maryland State systems from the cybersecurity threats caused by foreign organizations,” Maryland’s Chief Information Security Officer Chip Stewart said in a statement.

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Marcus Dieterle

Marcus Dieterle is the managing editor of Baltimore Fishbowl. He returned to Baltimore in 2020 after working as the deputy editor of the Cecil Whig newspaper in Elkton, Md. He can be reached at