Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during an interview on Monday that the United States government was considering a ban on the Chinese app TikTok over security concerns.
“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,” CNN reported. “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.’”
Pompeo made the remarks in the following exchange during an interview on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” with host Laura Ingraham:
INGRAHAM: Finally, Mr. Secretary, the huge Chinese app TikTok has about 30 million users in the United States but it’s been banned now India and Australia is considering the same action, saying that TikTok was full of mass surveillance and propaganda and also that the app had the ability to feed information straight to Beijing. So, kind of obvious question, if all that’s the case, shouldn’t we be considering right now, tonight, a ban on Chinese social media apps, especially TikTok?”
POMPEO: Well, your viewers should know we are taking this very seriously. We’re certainly looking at it. We’ve worked on this very issue for a long time, whether it was the problems of having Huawei technology in your infrastructure, we’ve gone all over the world and we’re making real progress getting that out. We declared ZTE a danger to American national security. We’ve done all these things with respect to Chinese apps on people’s cell phones. I can assure you the United States will get this one right too. I don’t want to get out in front of the president but it’s something that we’re looking at.
INGRAHAM: Would you recommend that people download that app on their phones tonight, tomorrow, anytime currently?
POMPEO: Only if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.
The U.S. military banned service members from using TikTok earlier this year over national security concerns.
“Representatives for the Coast Guard and Air Force said that their members aren’t allowed to use TikTok on any government-issued devices, making them the latest branches of the armed forces to publicly declare the app off-limits,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “The announcements follow similar decisions from the Defense Department, Navy, Army, and Marines.”
The Journal added that officials from the different service branches have urged troops and their dependents to delete the app from their personal devices.
Tensions between the United States and China have risen dramatically in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic from China, which the Chinese Communist Party has repeatedly lied about. The pandemic has caused trillions of dollars in economic damage to the global economy and has caused significant damage to the U.S. economy and to various aspects of life in the U.S.