The United States is reportedly thinking of banning TikTok and other Chinese social media apps. This follows the rising tension between the two countries.
According to the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, the government is “certainly looking at” the possibility of banning several apps. Reports are suggesting that TikTok and other Chinese apps are sending data over to the Chinese government.
Pompeo added in his Fox News interview, “I don’t want to get out in front of the President (Donald Trump), but it’s something we’re looking at.”
A national security concern
Several U.S. lawmakers have expressed security concerns over the viral app. Their concern came from a local Chinese law that requires companies to submit data to the government.
When asked if people should download TikTok, Pompeo responded with “only if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”
Besides the cybersecurity concern, Pompeo iterated that the decision is influenced by the on-going coronavirus outbreak. It also affected by the current Hong Kong-China situation.
TikTok denies the allegation
The China-based app retaliated in their interview with Reuters.
“We have no higher priority than promoting a safe and secure app experience for our users,” stated TikTok presentative.
The company added, “we have never provided user data to the Chinese government, nor would we do so if asked.”
TikTok aims for a global audience. The app is now unavailable in China. However, Weibo and other social media apps are still accessible in the communist country.
TikTok moves out of Hongkong as new security law passes
HongKong recently passed a law that grants mainland China more control over the region.
Several companies have expressed concerns that the draconian rule of China will ask them to send private data over the Chinese government.
With that being said, TikTok departs the region. Google, Facebook, and Twitter did the first move as it denied the HongKong government access to private data.
TikTok’s decision cements its stance over private data. As mentioned earlier, the company stated that it does not send user data to the Chinese government.
The viral video app is owned by ByteDance. The company continues to deny its involvement over privacy concerns.
But, its operation in Hong Kong may easily get affected by the new security law. Pulling out is a wise move if it wants to maintain its stance over user privacy.
India bans Chinese apps amid border clash
This is not the first time that a country has voiced concern over Chinese apps. India recently banned TikTok and 58 more Chinese-based apps.
The Indian government declared the ban after the two countries met in the border of the Ladakh region.
According to the Indian Ministry of Information Technology, the banned apps bring high-risk to the security of the country.
TikTok and the other apps are reportedly engaging in different activities that are harmful to Indian sovereignty.
Germany, Taiwan boycott TikTok earlier
The two countries earlier implemented the software boycott. Germany banned TikTok as several reports of data privacy issues arose.
Meanwhile, Taiwan decided to ban TikTok as concerns over private data arose. China and Taiwan are still in dispute over the small country’s sovereignty.
In line with this decision, the United States national security adviser, Robert O’ Brian claimed that TikTok and several more apps are used to spread the Chinese ideology globally.