United States Considers Banning TikTok and Other Chinese Social Media Apps, Says Mike Pompeo

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday night that the United States is “analyzing” the ban on TikTok and other Chinese social media applications for national security reasons. Your comments come as India banned the app and Australia is considering it.

In an interview with Fox News Channel’s Laura Ingraham, Pompeo said “we are certainly seeing it” when it comes to banning TikTok and other Chinese apps.

“Regarding Chinese applications on people’s cell phones, I can assure you that the United States will also have this, Laura,” he said. “I don’t want to go out in front of the president [Donald Trump], but it is something that we are seeing “.

Pompeo said he does not recommend downloading the app unless “you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”

A TikTok spokesman contested Pompeo’s comments in a statement to CBS News.

“TikTok is run by an American CEO, with hundreds of key employees and leaders in security, product and public policy here in the United States. We have no higher priority than promoting a secure application experience for our users. We have never had provided user data to the Chinese government, and we would not do that if asked. “

TikTok also confirmed on Tuesday that it halted app operations in Hong Kong in the wake of the new China-backed backup. security law That would prohibit treason, secession, sedition, and subversion in the semi-autonomous city. China is feared to use the law to severely erode the freedoms Hong Kong has enjoyed under the “one country, two systems” framework.

Launched in 2016, TikTok is owned by the Beijing-based technology company ByteDance. It has been downloaded more than a billion times worldwide, according to the Sensor Tower app tracker. The app, which allows users to create short videos, has come under scrutiny by lawmakers since exploding in popularity outside China

TikTok’s policies say the app collects user data, such as IP addresses, location, and device information. The company said it stores data from US users in the United States. However, critics point out that TikTok is owned by a Chinese company and would still have to comply with Chinese law. TikTok has repeatedly denied that it works with China, saying they are not influenced by any foreign government. TikTok announced in March that it will open a “transparency center” where experts can verify and examine application practices.

India has banned 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok, amid a Himalayan clash with the country. Without naming China, India said the app ban was a “directed move to ensure the security and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace.” Like the US, Australia is considering an app ban for alleged data collection and links to the Chinese government.