US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday (local time) confirmed that the White House is “looking at” banning the Chinese social media apps including TikTok.
“With respect to Chinese apps on people’s cell phones, I can assure you the United States will get this one right too. I don’t want to get out in front of the President [Donald Trump], but it’s something we’re looking at,” Pompeo was quoted by CNN during an interview with Fox News.
He said people should only download the app, “if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”
Responding to his comments, a TikTok spokesperson said, “TikTok is led by an American CEO, with hundreds of employees and key leaders across safety, security, product and public policy here in the US.”
“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,” the spokesperson added.
The US politicians have repeatedly criticised TikTok, owned by Beijing-based startup ByteDance, of being a threat to national security because of its ties to China.
Recently, India banned 59 Chinese apps including TikTok following a violent standoff with Chinese troops. This move was lauded by the US officials.