US considers Chinese app ban

The United States is considering banning Chinese social media apps including TikTok, according to secretary of state Mike Pompeo.

Speaking to Fox News yesterday, he said that US authorities were "taking this very seriously" when asked about the potential for taking measures against apps like TikTok.

"With respect to Chinese apps on people's cell phones, I can assure you the United States will get this one right," he said. "I don't want to get out in front of the president, but it's something we're looking at."

Pompeo continued that people should only download the app, "if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party".

A spokesperson for TikTok responded that the company is led by an American chief executive, with hundreds of employees and key leaders across safety, security, product, and public policy based 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."

Pompeo's comments come during a time of tension between the US and China in terms of national security, trade and technology - with similar criticisms made of Chinese technology firm Huawei's involvement in the roll-out of 5G infrastructure.

TikTok, a social media app owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, has been repeatedly criticised by US politicians of being a threat to national security because of its ties to China.
TikTok has said previously stated it operates separately from ByteDance, with data centres located entirely outside of China and not subject to Chinese law.

It become the first Chinese social media platform to gain significant traction with users outside of its home country. It was downloaded 315 million times in the first three months of this year, with more quarterly downloads than any other app in history, according to analytics company Sensor Tower.

However, last week week the Indian government said it would bank TikTok and a range of other Chinese apps because they pose a "threat to sovereignty and integrity."

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