United States ‘Looking’ at Banning TikTok and Other Chinese Social Media Apps

After India banned TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps late last month, the U.S. government is also “looking” to ban TikTok and other social media apps from China. The comments were made by the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Fox News in an interview.

When questioned about the U.S. considering banning TikTok, the Secretary of State told that they are “taking this very seriously” and are “certainly looking at it.”

“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 getting that out. We declared ZTE a danger to American national security,” Pompeo added, citing the two Chinese teleommunications networking companies.

“With respect to Chinese apps on peoples’ cellphones, the United States will get this one right too.”

When asked if people in the U.S. should download TikTok or not, Pompeo said they should do it only if they want their “private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”

Our Take

TikTok has come under scrutiny for the close ties of its parent company ByteDance with the Chinese government. This is despite the company being led by a U.S. CEO and having offices in different parts of the world. The app was found snooping on users’ clipboard data last month due to a change made by Apple in iOS 14. While TikTok was called out for this habit back in February itself, it was the name and shame tactics adopted by Apple in iOS 14 that led the company to finally remove stop doing this.

Outside of China, India was TikTok’s second-largest market. The U.S. is also among the company’s biggest markets worldwide and a ban by the U.S. government could severely limit TikTok’s reach and hurt its revenues adversely.

[Via CNBC]