Chinese-owned short video-sharing app TikTok has been given a month to respond to multiple complaints from EU consumer groups that it allegedly violated the bloc's consumer laws and also allegedly failed to protect children from hidden advertising and inappropriate content.

Owned by China's ByteDance, TikTok has seen rapid growth worldwide, particularly among teenagers.

However a number of incidents have prompted concerns about its privacy and safety policies.

The European Commission said today that it had launched a formal dialogue with TikTok and national consumer groups to review the company's commercial practices and policy.

European Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders said greater digitalisation brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic has created new risks, in particular for vulnerable consumers.

"In the European Union, it is prohibited to target children and minors with disguised advertising such as banners in videos," he said in a statement.