Secretary of State told Fox News on Monday that the Trump administration is looking at a ban on the Chinese social media app TikTok. Pompeo said the Trump Administration is considering banning the popular app due to security and privacy concerns.
Americans who use TikTok risk having their “private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party,” Pompeo said in the interview.
“I don’t want to get out in front of the President, but it’s something we’re looking at,” Pompeo told Fox News on Monday night. Pompeo added that Americans should only download the Chinese app “if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”
TikTok was downloaded 315 million times in the first three months of this year, more quarterly downloads than any other app in history.
TikTok is owned by Beijing-based startup ByteDance, which responded to Pompeo’s comments on Tuesday morning by saying it has never shared any data with the Chinese government.
“TikTok is led by an American CEO, with hundreds of employees and key leaders across safety, security, product, and public policy here in the US,” a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement following Pompeo’s comments. “We have no higher priority than promoting a safe and secure app experience for our users. We have never provided user data to the Chinese government, nor would we do so if asked.”
TikTok has already been banned in India, while government officials in Australia are threatening to take similar measures, citing security concerns.