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Blow for China as United States says considering banning TikTok, other Chinese apps

In what may come as a big blow for China, after India now the United States is considering banning Chinese apps like TikTok, others. US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo said the United States is "certainly looking at" banning Chinese social media apps, including TikTok.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
New Delhi Updated on: July 07, 2020 14:16 IST
Chinese apps ban, TikTok, United States
Image Source : FILE PHOTO

United States is considering to ban Chinese apps like TikTok, others. (Representational image)

In what may come as a big blow for China, after India now the United States is considering banning Chinese apps like TikTok, others. US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo said the United States is "certainly looking at" banning Chinese social media apps, including TikTok.

Speaking in an interview with Fox News, Pompeo said, "I don't want to get out in front of the President (Donald Trump), but it's something we're looking at," Pompeo said in an interview with Fox News.

Pompeo said he and President Donald Trump are taking the reports seriously after he was told by the host that India had already banned the app and Australia is considering doing so.

"We are taking this very seriously and we are certainly looking at it. We have worked on this very issue for a long time, whether it's the problem of having Huawei technology in your infrastructure -- we've gone all over the world and we are making real progress getting that out -- we had declared ZTE a danger to American national security," Pompeo said.

"With respect to Chinese apps on people's cell phones, I can assure you the United States will get this one right too," he said, adding that he did not want to dive into specifics and potentially "get ahead" of any presidential announcement.

"But, it is something we are looking at," he said, going on to warn Americans that they should be cautious in using TikTok, lest they want their private information "in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party."

Pompeo's remarks on the Chinese social media apps came amid growing tensions in bilateral ties with Beijing on a range of issues, including on the coronavirus outbreak and the controversial national security law imposed in Hong Kong.

The US has banned Huawei from their 5G networks over concerns of security and Washington has been pressuring other countries to restrict the operations of the Chinese telecom firm.

The recent ban by India on Chinese apps has been widely noted in the US and some prominent lawmakers have urged the American government to follow suit as it is believed that the short video-sharing app is a major security risk to the country.

Republican Congressman Rick Crawford tweeted "TikTok must go and it should have been gone yesterday." US National Security Advisor, Robert O'Brien had alleged that the Chinese Government is using TikTok for its own purposes.

"On TikTok, a Chinese-owned social media platform with over 40 million American users, probably a lot of your kids, and younger colleagues, accounts criticising the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) and Beijing's policies are routinely removed or deleted," O'Brien said in his public remarks.

At least two bills are pending in the US Congress to ban federal government officials from using TikTok on their cell phones, reflecting such a sentiment can gain momentum in the US after India's decision.

"Would that be the same Chinese TikTok that was used to tank attendance at the Tulsa Rally?" tweeted Peter Navarro, Assistant to the US President for Trade and Manufacturing Policy, as he tagged a news report from The New York Times on India's decision to ban these Chinese social media apps.

Earlier, Fox News anchor Ingraham urged the US to do the same. "LEADING THE WAY, WHERE'S THE US? India bans dozens of Chinese apps including TikTok" she said in a tweet on June 29.

While India has already banned TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps, and the United States is also considering to ban these apps, the Chinese apps could also be banned in Australia amid fears that the platform may be sharing users' data with the Chinese Government and could pose a national security threat to the country.

Meanwhile, TikTok has said it will exit the Hong Kong market within days as other technology companies including Facebook have suspended processing government requests for user data in the region, reported Reuters.

"In light of recent events, we've decided to stop operations of the TikTok app in Hong Kong," a TikTok spokesman said in response to a Reuters question about its commitment to the market.

(With PTI inputs

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