Secretary of State Mike Pompeo mentioned on Monday that america is “definitely taking a look at” banning Chinese language social media apps, together with TikTok, suggesting it shared data with the Chinese language authorities, a cost the corporate denied.
“I do not need to get out in entrance of the president, nevertheless it’s one thing we’re taking a look at,” Pompeo mentioned in an interview with Fox Information, referencing Donald Trump.
U.S. lawmakers have raised nationwide safety considerations over TikTok’s dealing with of consumer knowledge, saying they had been nervous about Chinese language legal guidelines requiring home corporations “to assist and co-operate with intelligence work managed by the Chinese language Communist Social gathering.”
Pompeo mentioned Individuals needs to be cautious in utilizing the short-form video app owned by China-based ByteDance.
“Solely if you’d like your non-public data within the fingers of the Chinese language Communist Social gathering,” Pompeo remarked when requested if he would advocate that folks obtain TikTok.
In response to his feedback, TikTok advised Reuters it has by no means supplied consumer knowledge to China.
“We’ve no increased precedence than selling a protected and safe app expertise for our customers. We’ve by no means supplied consumer knowledge to the Chinese language authorities, nor would we accomplish that if requested,” TikTok mentioned in an emailed assertion.
The app, which isn’t obtainable in China, has sought to distance itself from its Chinese language roots to attraction to a world viewers.
Growing China-U.S. tensions
Pompeo’s remarks additionally come amid growing U.S.-China tensions over the dealing with of the coronavirus outbreak, China’s actions within the former British colony of Hong Kong and an almost two-year commerce battle.
TikTok was lately banned in India together with 58 different Chinese language apps after a border conflict between India and China.
Reuters reported late on Monday that TikTok would exit the Hong Kong market inside days, after China’s institution of a sweeping new nationwide safety legislation for the area.
Hong Kong returned to Chinese language rule in 1997 with the assure of freedoms and far-reaching autonomy beneath a “one nation, two techniques” components agreed to with Britain.