Pompeo Signals US Considering Banning Chinese Social Media Apps

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the United States is weighing on a ban on Chinese social media app TikTok over privacy concerns. 

During an interview on Fox News on Monday, host Laura Ingraham noted that India banned TikTok over concerns that the app was sharing users’ data with the Chinese government. She asked if the U.S. would take a similar step and ban Chinese social media apps.

Pompeo responded, “We’re taking this very seriously, we’re certainly looking at it.”

“We’ve worked on this very issue for a long time. Whether it was the problems of having Huawei technology in your infrastructure. We’ve gone all over the world, and we’re making real progress in getting that out,” he continued.

He added, “With respect to Chinese apps on peoples’ cellphones, I can assure you the United States will get this one right too, Laura. I don’t want to get out in front of the president, but it’s something we’re looking at.”

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The app, TikTok, used to make short videos has become widely popular in the U.S., with roughly 30 million monthly active users, as of May 2020.

However, privacy concerns have been raised around the app over allegations that the company shares users’ data with the Chinese government. 

The company denies that it shares users’ data with the Chinese government and said Americans’ data is stored in the U.S. 

In a statement to The Hill, TikTok said, “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.

Pompeo was asked if he would recommend that Americans download the app, he responded, “Only if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”