According to a recent announcement from U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the United States government is considering banning TikTok and several other social media apps due to safety and security concerns.
In an interview this past Monday with Fox News correspondent Laura Ingraham, Mike Pompeo said this:
“You should know that we are taking this very seriously. We are certainly looking at it.”
This response followed Ingraham’s question about whether or not the United States would be considering the ban on Chinese social media apps. The issue came shortly after India, one of the largest markets outside of China for the TikTok app, banned almost 60 Chinese apps following some clashes around the border.
“Concerning Chinese apps on people’s cellphones, I assure you that the U.S. will get this one right,” said Pompeo. “I don’t want to get out in front of the president, though this is something that we are looking at.”
Ingraham also asked whether or not Americans should be downloading TikTok or using TikTok on their phones.
Pompeo responded, saying, “Only if you want your private information in the hands of the communist party.”
Of course, there were quick responses from spokespeople over at TikTok, assuring the public that TikTok is under the umbrella of an American chief executive officer. TikTok employs hundreds of people, many of which lead safety and security initiatives for the U.S. market.
“We have no higher priority than promoting a safe and secure app experience for our users.”
TikTok has assured that they have not once given user data to the Chinese government, and they would not even do so if they inquired.
There is no question that tensions in technology, trade, and national security, between the United States and other countries, are on the rise, making Pompeo’s comments all the more relevant. Just this past week, the FCC designated Huawei and ZTE as risks to national security. Huawei and ZTE are some of the largest telecom companies in China, and the U.S is currently banned from purchasing equipment through the companies using federal funds.
Pompeo responded to India banning 59 Chinese apps this past week, saying that the United States is considering a ban on these Chinese mobile apps, as they serve as appendages of the CCP surveillance state.
ByteDance, one of the world’s most valuable companies at $100 billion, is the owner of TikTok. Just this past year, TikTok clocked up over two billion downloads. TikTok is the very first Chinese app to have exploded outside of the country.
TikTok hired Kevin Mayer, a former executive from Disney, to be the TikTok CEO, to gain trust from Washington. The company noted that they store data from American users in two places, including servers in Singapore and Virginia.
What are your thoughts on TikTok?
Is it a security threat, or is the government blowing it out of proportion?
Let us know in the comments!