Donald Trump’s equally vocal counterpart, the U.S Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, said yesterday that the United States is “looking at” banning Chinese social media apps like TikTok. Pompeo’s remarks come at a time when the United States and China are facing tensions over national security, trade, and technology. These also come days after India, a crucial ally to the US in current times, banned 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok amid data security concerns.
This isn’t the first time though, that a government official within United States has proposed banning TikTok and other Chinese apps. The country has, on more than one occasion, criticized these companies for colluding with the Chinese communist party and sending critical data of US citizens back to China. TikTok in particular, has been suspected of sending private user data to the Chinese government, and has been in the government’s crosshairs for a long time.
“I don’t want to get out in front of the President, but it’s something we’re looking at,” Pompeo said.
Last week, the Indian government too banned 59 Chinese apps over user data security concerns, as the conditions at LAC created spark between the countries.
In addition to United dates and India, Australia too, is considering banning Chinese social media apps in the country. Australians are signing petitions and appealing the government to restrict Chinese apps in the country, specifically TikTok. The same concerns hold true in the region- that these apps are sending valuable data back to the Chinese governments.
In repose to such strong criticism, TikTok has tried to show that it is independent from its Chinese roots. The social media platform said that it will exit the Hong Kong market, soon after the Chinese government made a new national security law for the city. TikTok has also said that all of its servers for the app are based outside China and not governed by Chinese law. Moreover, the app is not available in China and is led by an American CEO.
“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,” said TikTok