The US government is considering bringing down the banhammer on Chinese social media apps, including the wildly popular TikTok platform. The announcement was made by Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State, during a recent interview with Fox News.
Pompeo’s statement comes at a time when lawmakers and some consumers in the US have expressed concerns over privacy with the Chinese-made app. Given its parent company’s supposedly close links with the Chinese government. More to the point, lawmakers are fearful that the government’s Chinese Communist Party could eventually force the company to hand over its accumulated data and other information. Should the need.
In the eyes of TikTok and ByteDance, the accusation appears to be nothing more than fearmongering; both app and parent company have insisted on numerous occasions that it has never cooperated with the Chinese government and has distanced itself from said party. In order to gain a wider appeal with the global market. What’s even more ironic is that the app isn’t available for download in China.
To that end, TikTok has also said that all data accumulated from its US audience are store on servers housed within the US, while backup servers to that system are housed within a facility in Singapore. As such, TikTok says that the Chinese government cannot gain access to said data, as Chinese law cannot be applied outside their borders.
Clearly, the US isn’t the first country to think of banning TikTok and other Chinese social media apps. Recently, India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology banned the app, along with 59 other apps. The ban was undoubtedly a sharp blow to TikTok, seeing how India accounts for 30% of its two billion downloads.