Washington (dpa) – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the US is considering a ban on certain Chinese apps, including the popular video platform TikTok, which has a large user base among younger people.
In response, TikTok insisted it does not share user data with the Chinese government and stressed its US-related bona fides.
“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 company statement sent to dpa said.
“We have never provided user data to the Chinese government, nor would we do so if asked.”
Asked on Fox News Channel if he would ban Chinese social media apps, Pompeo said, “We’re certainly looking at it,” while warning that users’ data would allegedly be given to the government in Beijing.
“With respect to Chinese apps on people’s cell phones, I can assure you the United States will get this one right too,” Pompeo said, after noting that the US has been pushing for bans domestically and in allied countries of certain Chinese tech.
TikTok allows users to create short videos, often with some basic effects and music, which have become increasingly popular, particularly among a younger demographic.
The social media company, which is run by China-based start-up ByteDance, says TikTok is not available in China itself. It says its user data is stored outside of the mainland.
App Annie, which tracks mobile data, says TikTok was the most popular download in the first quarter of the year.
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