Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Monday that the United States is looking to ban Chinese social media apps, including TikTok.
What We Know:
- In an interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the United States is looking to ban Chinese social media apps, including TikTok, because of security concerns.
- “With respect to Chinese apps on people’s cell phones, I can assure you the United States will get this one right too, Laura,” Pompeo said. “I don’t want to get out in front of the President [Donald Trump], but it’s something we’re looking at.” Pompeo added that people should only download the app if they wanted their “private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”
- “Tik Tok is led by an American CEO, with hundreds of employees and key leaders across safety, security, product, and public policy here in the US,” a spokesperson for TikTok said after Pompeo’s comments. “We have no higher priority than 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.”
- TikTok is owned by Beijing-based startup ByteDance and has been sized up by US politicians. They accuse the short-form video-sharing app of threatening national security because of its ties to China, saying the company could be compelled to “support and cooperate with intelligence work controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.”
- But TikTok denies the accusations, saying the app operates separately from ByteDance and its data centers are located outside of China and that none of its data is subject to Chinese laws. According to TikTok, US user data is stored in the US, with a backup in Singapore. A TikTok spokesperson said that the national security concerns the politicians have are “unfounded.”
- The banning decision and Pompeo’s comments occur amid the tensions between the United States and China, which brim over into several areas, including national security, trade, and technology.
The US is not the only country looking to ban TikTok and other Chinese apps, with escalating tensions between India and China after a clash along the Himalayan border. The Indian government announced last week that it would ban TikTok and China’s other social media apps because they pose a “threat to sovereignty and integrity.”