TECHNOLOGY

The United States is ‘looking at’ banning TikTok and other Chinese social media apps, Pompeo says

Jul 7, 2020, 6:12 AM
The United States is "looking at" banning Chinese social media apps, including TikTok, Secretary of...
The United States is "looking at" banning Chinese social media apps, including TikTok, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday. Credit: Shutterstock via CNN

    (CNN) — The United States is “looking at” banning Chinese social media apps, including TikTok, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday.

Pompeo suggested the possible move during an interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham, adding that “we’re taking this very seriously.”

Pompeo was asked by Ingraham whether the United States should be considering a ban on Chinese social media apps, “especially TikTok.”

“With respect to Chinese apps on people’s cell phones, I can assure you the United States will get this one right too, Laura,” he said. “I don’t want to get out in front of the President [Donald Trump], but it’s something we’re looking at.”

Washington’s top diplomat added that people should only download the app “if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”

“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,” a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement following Pompeo’s comments. “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 remarks come during a time of heightened tensions between the United States and China, which have spilled over into several arenas including national security, trade and technology.

TikTok — which is owned by Beijing-based startup ByteDance — has been repeatedly criticized by US politicians who accused the short-form video app of being a threat to national security because of its ties to China. They allege that the company could be compelled to “support and cooperate with intelligence work controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.”

TikTok has said previously that it operates separately from ByteDance. It says its data centers are located entirely outside of China, and that none of that data is subject to Chinese law. US user data is stored in the United States, with a backup in Singapore, according to TikTok. A spokesperson for the company told CNN Business in May that it thinks the national security concerns are “unfounded.”

The app has exploded in popularity in the United States and other western countries, becoming 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, more quarterly downloads than any other app in history, according to analytics company Sensor Tower.

The company has also run into roadblocks elsewhere. Last week, the Indian government said it would ban TikTok and other well-known Chinese apps because they pose a “threat to sovereignty and integrity.” Tensions between India and China have been escalating after a clash along the Himalayan border.

— Sherisse Pham contributed to this report.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Today’s Top Stories

Technology

Former US President Donald Trump's Twitter account has been reinstated on the platform....
Clare Duffy and Paul LeBlanc, CNN

Elon Musk restores Donald Trump’s Twitter account

Former US President Donald Trump's Twitter account has been reinstated on the platform.
7 days ago
With employees with the company, the future of Twitter is in uncertain. Photo credit: Justin Sulliv...
Oliver Darcy, CNN Business

Inside Twitter as ‘mass exodus’ of staffers throws platform’s future into uncertainty

With employees leaving the company, the future of Twitter is uncertain.
8 days ago
NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen on Nov. 12 at NASA...
Jackie Wattles, CNN

Historic moon mission troubleshoots fuel leak issue hours before launch

The Artemis I mission to the moon could finally take place this week.
11 days ago
FILE - A Tesla owner charges his vehicle at a charging station in Topeka, Kan., Monday, April 5, 20...
Peter Valdes-Dapena, CNN Business

Tesla officially makes its charging standard available to other companies

Tesla has invited other automakers to build cars with charging ports that can work with Tesla's charging format and for other charging companies to add Tesla-style plugs to their chargers.
14 days ago
Former US President Donald Trump's Twitter account has been reinstated on the platform....
BARBARA ORTUTAY AP Technology Writer

Twitter Blue signups unavailable after raft of fake accounts

Blue checkmark "verification" was unavailable for purchase Friday after the social media platform was flooded by impostor accounts approved by Twitter.
15 days ago
Bonneville High students in Utah win award for top automotive tech program....
Aubri Wuthrich

Bonneville High automotive technician shop named top in the nation

To earn this award Bonneville High had to be nominated by a local business. Then students and parents wrote letters of recommendation.
17 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
The United States is ‘looking at’ banning TikTok and other Chinese social media apps, Pompeo says