Application Restrictions - TikTok, WeChat, others
New Virginia law prohibits access to these apps on state-owned or managed resources.
A new state law requires Virginia Tech to cease use of TikTok and other applications developed by ByteDance or Tencent for any official university purposes, effective July 1, 2023, and to stop accessing these applications from university-owned devices or using the university's networks. In addition to TikTok, these applications include: Capcut, Hypic, and ULike (from ByteDance), and WeChat, WeCom, Tencent QQ, QQmail, Tencent Video, and Tencent Music (from Tencent). Other apps may also be included.
In order to comply with the law, the IT Security Office will be working with Network Infrastructure and Services to block network traffic to and from these applications, including on eduroam wireless. TikTok and related applications are also to be removed from all university-owned devices.
Access to these applications with personally-owned devices over private networks and for personal business is still permitted. Please see the table and frequently asked questions below for additional clarification.
At-a-glance summary of restrictions
|Network Connection / Work Type||Virginia Tech owned or issued device||Personal device|
|On VT Network doing VT work|| Not allowed
|| Not allowed
|On VT Network but doing personal business|| Not allowed
|| Not allowed
|On personal/outside network doing VT work|| Not allowed
|| Not allowed
|On personal/outside network doing personal business|| Not allowed
Frequently Asked Questions
The Virginia General Assembly passed a new law earlier in 2023 that requires all state-affiliated entities - of which Virginia Tech is one - to stop using TikTok and other applications developed by ByteDance and Tencent on state-issued devices or state-maintained networks. The governor signed the bill in April. The restriction takes effect on July 1, 2023.
You can still access and use TikTok after July 1 provided that these three requirements are met:
- The app is on a device you own.
- You are using a personal or cellular network that is not owned or managed by a state agency.
- You are not using the account for Virginia Tech related work.
The Division of Information Technology will implement technical controls to limit access to TikTok and other ByteDance and Tencent applications and websites on the Virginia Tech network.
At this point, we do not recommend that users delete college/unit accounts, as this leaves former accounts vulnerable to spoofing. Just don't post to them after July 1. Apps should be removed from all university-owned devices.
No. But you can't access TikTok or other restricted apps from a university-issued device or on the university network.
As a student using your own personal device, you can use these apps at any time - however, you cannot access them over eduroam or any Virginia Tech network.
Yes. You are not prohibited from using WeChat on a personal device with a personal data plan. However, you will not be able to use the application over the Virginia Tech network.
Effective July 1, 2023, use of these applications over the university network, on a university-owned device, and/or for university business is a violation of Virginia Tech’s Acceptable Use policy. Violation of this policy is subject to student conduct action for students and personnel actions for employees.