TikTok could lose one more big market in a matter of weeks as the U.S. government probes a possible ban on the app.
The crackdown on China is intensifying in the United States. The U.S. government rolled the dice back in 2019 when it officially made it harder for U.S. companies to work with Chinese companies.
Yesterday, U.S. Secretary Mike Pompeo announced that Huawei employees are banned from entering the country. He did not specify which persons from Huawei are banned as there are over 190,000 employees of the company. However, he did specify that any employee who aids and abets any human rights-violating company is banned.
After this explosive news, the U.S. is again cracking down on mobile apps with Chinese origins.
TikTok could be banned
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told the press that the administration is looking into the threat that Chinese social media apps pose. He said,
“There are a number of … administration officials who are looking at the national security risk as it relates to TikTok, WeChat and other apps that have the potential for national security exposure, specifically as it relates to the gathering of information on American citizens by a foreign adversary.”
He added that the probe would not take months, but only weeks. The United States will be the second country to impose a nationwide ban if the government passes the measure. India, which is also a large market for TikTok, have already boycotted the app.
The social media company maintains that it will never give the data that it has for any other purpose. Neither will it give the data to any entity that asks for its surrender.
Boycott in Australia
TikTok is also finding itself in a tough spot in Australia. There are some politicians that are reportedly moving for a TikTok ban in the country. TikTok replied by saying that there is a massive spread of misinformation on the matter. Also, the company is being used as a ‘political football’ for personal lobbying.
However, there seem to be two sides of the same coin. On one side, governments are afraid of illicit data collection. On the other, users are freely giving their information to social media apps. The biggest question will lie on which country or company benefits from these data gathered.
The Prime Minister of Australia said,
“I think people have to be quite conscious in this digital age that all of these platforms, they all go back to places and people are knowingly handing over their data and their information and all of these things.”