The U.S. government is considering banning Tiktok and other Chinese smartphone apps over security concerns, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, adding that the fears are unfounded.
Pompeo also called Fox News’ Laura Ingraham in an interview on Monday, specifically ticking, saying the United States is looking at banning the use of Chinese social media applications.
Pompeo also warned in the interview that Americans who use Tiktok are at “risk of having personal information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party”. “With respect to Chinese applications on people’s cell phones, I can assure you that the United States will also have this right,” he said, referring to US sanctions on Chinese telecommunications equipment vendors ZTE and Huawei. “I don’t want to go ahead [Donald Trump]But that’s what we’re seeing. “
Tiktok reiterated its claim in a statement that the company “never provides user data to the Chinese government, nor will we do so if asked.” The company is owned by Beijing-based internet giant ByteDance.
“TickTock is led by the American CEO, has hundreds of employees and key leaders across security, safety, products and public policy in the United States,” the agency said. “We have no priorities other than promoting a safe and secure application experience for our users.”
Former Disney executive Kevin Mayer came to the fore on June 1 as CEO of TickTock and CEO of ByteDance. In a recent webcast, Mayer acknowledged Tiktak’s problematic geopolitical optics: “There’s a lot of politics going on,” he said, “We’re not really a Chinese company.”
Meanwhile, after tensions between the two countries escalated over border clashes last week, India banned Tiktok, along with 57 other apps from Chinese companies.
Dan Fleischmann, founder of the social media company Elevator.Studio, said the “White House” has a legal right to ban certain applications for the purpose of protecting U.S. citizens and their information. If “there are strong rumors about parent company bytens about compromising Americans’ data, just as India recently banned certain applications, you will see the Trump administration take similar action.”
Separately, Tiktok said China was moving out of Hong Kong after passing a controversial security law. On Monday, Facebook, Twitter, Google and other Internet companies said they were temporarily suspending cooperation with Hong Kong authorities on user-data requests.