September 24, 2023

TikTok, WeChat apps no longer permitted on UMW networks or devices by state law, effective July 1

Campus Community,

Effective July 1, 2023, use of TikTok, WeChat, and other products from ByteDance Ltd. or Tencent Holdings Ltd. will not be permitted on UMW networks or on university-issued devices.

new Virginia law prohibits access to and use of apps or websites from the above entities on state-issued devices or on state-maintained networks. The Virginia General Assembly passed this law earlier in 2023, and the bill was signed by the governor in April. The restriction takes effect on July 1, 2023.

That means that access to these apps will be restricted on UMW networks, both wired and wireless, including eduroam, UMW-Secure, UMW, and UMW Guest. You will not be able to access these apps from these networks and will receive a “cannot connect” message similar to when there’s no internet available. In addition, TikTok, WeChat, etc. may not be used on any university-issued device, regardless of what network is being used at the time. These apps should be deleted from university-issued devices.

UMW-affiliated or sponsored TikTok accounts, such as those administered by colleges, departments, student organizations, or employees as representations of their roles at UMW, may not be used in any manner after July 1, 2023. Social media managers are advised not to delete accounts, but simply to stop using them and remove them from devices – this will protect the accounts from being spoofed in the future. If your department or organization has follow-up questions about your account, please email

The new law does not restrict personal use of TikTok, WeChat, or any ByteDance or Tencent product on personally owned devices when connected to networks that are not maintained by state agencies, including UMW. Users may still use TikTok for non-university use on personal phones or computers when connected through a personal cellular data plan, a home Wi-Fi network, or another privately managed network.

More information and answers to frequently asked questions about these state-mandated app and website restrictions may be found at Violations of these new restrictions will follow protocols of our Network and Computer Use Policy.