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Pompeo: US 'looking at' ban on Chinese social media apps

Iran Press TV

Tuesday, 07 July 2020 1:38 PM

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said Washington is "certainly" seeking to ban Chinese social media apps such as TikTok, claiming it shared information with the Chinese government.

"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 on Monday.

Asked whether he recommended downloading TikTok, Pompeo responded, "Only if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party."

According to Reuters, American lawmakers have expressed national security concerns over TikTok's handling of user data, saying they were worried about Chinese laws requiring domestic companies "to support and cooperate with intelligence work controlled by the Chinese Communist Party."

Pompeo asked Americans to be cautious in using the video app owned by China-based ByteDance.

US Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) asked then-acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire in a letter in October to investigate whether the short-form video app poses "national security risks."

"Security experts have voiced concerns that China's vague patchwork of intelligence, national security, and cybersecurity laws compel Chinese companies to support and cooperate with intelligence work controlled by the Chinese Communist Party," they wrote.

"Given these concerns, we ask that the Intelligence Community conduct an assessment of the national security risks posed by TikTok and other China-based content platforms operating in the US and brief Congress on these findings," they added.

TikTok , the app which is not available in China, issued a statement in which they denied providing any user data to the Chinese government.

"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," the company said.

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