Daily US Times: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday that the US is “looking at” banning TikTok and other Chinese social media apps.
He suggested the possible move during an interview with Fox News host Laura Ingraham, adding that “we’re taking this very seriously.”
Ingraham asked Mr. Pompeo whether the United States should be considering a ban on Chinese social media apps, “especially TikTok.”
He said: “With respect to Chinese apps on people’s cell phones, I can assure you the United States will get this one right too, Laura.”
“I don’t want to get out in front of the President [Donald Trump], but it’s something we’re looking at.”
Washington’s top diplomat added that people should only download the app “if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”
Following Mr Pompeo’s comments, a TikTok spokesman said in a statement that the company is led by an American CEO, ”with hundreds of employees and key leaders across safety, security, product, and public policy here in the US.”
The statement said the company’s higher priority is promoting a safe and secure app experience for our users.
”We have never provided user data to the Chinese government, nor would we do so if asked,” it added.
Pompeo’s remarks on banning TikTok come during a time of heightened tensions between China and the United States, which have spilled over into several areas including trade, national security and technology.
Beijing-based startup ByteDance owns TikTok. The app became extremely popular among youths, thought its massive users are based in South East Asia, but it’s American users are continues to grow.
US politicians has been repeatedly criticized the short-form video app of being a threat to national security because of its ties to China, but the company says its data centers are located entirely outside of China, and that none of that data is subject to Chinese law.
User data from the US is stored in the United States and Singapore, TikTok says.
In May, a spokesperson for the company told CNN that it thinks the national security concerns are “unfounded.”
The app has exploded in popularity in many western countries including the US, becoming the first Chinese social media platform to gain significant traction with users outside of its home country.
in the first three months of this year, it was downloaded 315 million times, which is more quarterly downloads than any other app in history, according to analytics company Sensor Tower.
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