The US government may follow in the footsteps of India by issuing a ban on Chinese social media apps, with TikTok being their primary target.
Speaking to Fox News in a recent interview, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned viral platform TikTok and its owner Bytedance that the United States is “certainly looking at” banning the app, along with others, for handing private user data directly to the Chinese government.
Although being heavily denied by representatives of TikTok, Pompeo stated they are “taking this very seriously”, adding: “With respect to Chinese apps on people’s cellphones, 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, but it’s something we’re looking at.”
He went on to advise US citizens against downloading the application unless they want their “private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party”.
A TikTok spokesperson responded to the Secretary of State’s claims, saying: “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.”
TikTok currently has around 30 million active users in the US alone, however with India’s recent blanket ban, as well as consideration from the Australian government to withdraw the application from its app stores, the future of the platform is looking uncertain.
Recently it was reported that K-pop fans and TikTok users claimed tickets to Donald Trump’s Saturday night rally in Tulsa then did not use them, helping to leave hundreds of seats empty in the venue.