Washington: After India, the US is now looking at banning Chinese social media apps including ByteDance-owned TikTok.
“I don’t want to get out in front of the President (Donald Trump), but it’s something we’re looking at,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, said in an interview with the Fox News.
The development comes amid privacy concerns by US lawmakers over TikTok’s handling of user data and increasing US-China tensions over the handling of the covid 19 pandemic.
Pompeo said people should only download the app “if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party”.
TikTok which has a flourishing presence in the US was yet to comment.
India has already banned 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok, saying these apps opened the way for “elements hostile to national security and defence” to exploit them to “ultimately impinge upon the sovereignty and integrity of India”.
Pompeo earlier welcomed India’s move, saying the “clean app” policy will promote New Delhi’s national security against the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) spying on the country.
“We welcome India’s ban on certain mobile apps that can serve as appendages of the CCP’s surveillance state. India’s ‘clean app’ approach will boost India’s sovereignty, and will also boost India’s integrity and national security as the Indian government itself has stated,” he said while briefing reporters in Washington earlier this month.
Nikki Haley, the first Indian-American to serve in the US cabinet, had also praised India’s decision, saying New Delhi “is continuing to show it won’t back down from China’s aggression”.
Reuters reported late on Monday that TikTok would exit the Hong Kong market within days, deciding to do so after China’s establishment of a sweeping new national security law for the semi-autonomous city.