Mumbai: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday that the United States is “definitely banning” Chinese social media apps, including Tik Tok.
In an interview with Fox News, Pompeo said: “I don’t want to get out in front of the president (Donald Trump), but this is something we’re looking at.”
US lawmakers have expressed national security concerns over the way Tik Tok handles users’ data, as according to Chinese laws, supporting domestic companies with intelligence work controlled by the Chinese Communist Party”.
In particular, TikTok is a video app owned by China-based ByteDance, which is not available in China. Of late, India has banned Tik tok along with 58 other Chinese apps amid tensions along the border with China.
Pompeo’s remarks come at a time when tensions between the US and China have increased in the way Beijing handled the COVID-19 outbreak, with action in the Asian country of Hong Kong and around a two-year trade war.
Last week, Pompeo welcomed India’s ban on 59 Chinese apps, saying: “We welcome India’s ban on some mobile apps that may serve as an appendage of the CCP’s surveillance state. India’s ‘clean app’ approach will boost India’s sovereignty, will also boost India’s integrity and national security as the Indian government itself has stated.”
India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology last month banned 59 Chinese apps, including Tik Tok saying they paved the way for “hostile elements for national security and defense” and imposing them “on India’s sovereignty and integrity”.