Governor Noem signs Executive Order banning Tencent

PIERRE, S.D.(Press Release) – On Thursday, Governor Noem signed Executive Order 2023-06 banning Tencent Holding, Ltd. (“Tencent”) for state government agencies, employees, and contractors using state devices. Tencent is a China-based technology and media conglomerate, is one of the world’s largest companies, and poses similar cybersecurity risks to South Dakota as ByteDance and TikTok. Photos of Governor Noem signing the Executive Order can be found here.

“My number one responsibility as Governor is to keep the people of South Dakota safe. South Dakota started the movement that has swept the country to ban TikTok on government devices,” said Governor Noem. “Now, I am extending that ban to Tencent and other Chinese companies that are threats to our security.”

This Executive Order bans the downloading or use of any application or visiting of any website owned or controlled by Tencent Holdings, Ltd. on state devices, networks, etc. by:

  • Employees of the State of South Dakota;
  • Agencies of the State of South Dakota; and,
  • People or entities who contract with the State of South Dakota, including any state agency, commission, or authority agents thereof.

This Executive Order also gives the Commissioner of the Bureau of Information and Telecommunications the power to ban any other application, website, platform, service, or product whose use or access would be detrimental to state security in the same way as Tencent and Bytedance. The Commissioner will keep a publicly accessible list of entities banned under this Executive Order and Executive Order 2022-10.