The U.S. is ‘” looking at” banning the popular Chinese app TikTok because of a supposed threat to national security.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday that the video app, as well as other Chinese social media apps, could be banned over fears users’ private information could be stolen and used by the Chinese.
Pompeo made the suggestion in an interview on Fox News and said, “we’re taking this very seriously.”
“With respect to Chinese apps on people’s cell phones, I can assure you the United States will get this one right, too,” he said. “I don’t want to get out in front of the President [Donald Trump], but it’s something we’re looking at.”
Pompeo said that you should only download the app “if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”
After his comments, a TikTok spokesperson released a statement, saying, “TikTok is led by an American CEO, with hundreds of employees and key leaders across safety, security, product, and public policy here in the U.S. 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.”
This comes as tensions are rising between the U.S. and China in areas regarding COVID-19, national security, and trade.
TikTok is owned by Beijing-based company ByteDance and has been accused by the U.S. of supporting the Chinese communist party. But TikTok says it operates separately from ByteDAnce and has data centers outside of China.