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US Contemplating Banning Chinese Apps Including Tik Tok, Says Mike Pompeo

US Contemplating Banning Chinese Apps Including Tik Tok, Says Mike Pompeo
The United States is “certainly looking at” banning Chinese social media apps, including TikTok, said the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, effectively suggesting that Chinese app had shared personal information of its American users with the Chinese government.
These charges have been denied by the Chinese firm under the scanner.
“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.
Previously, concerns have been raised by US lawmakers about the threat to national security over the manner in which TikTok handles private data of its users with the lawmakers saying that they were concerned about the company being forced to share data with the Chinese government because of a chine law that requires domestic companies “to support and cooperate with intelligence work controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.”
It is necessary for American users in making use of the short-form video app owned by China-based ByteDance, Pompeo said.
“Only if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party,” Pompeo remarked when he was asked what he would advise American users about downloading TikTok.
It has never provided user data to China, TikTok told the media in response to his 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 said in an emailed statement distributed to the media.
Interestingly, TikTok is not available in China and the company has on several occasions attempted to distance itself from kit Chinese roots sop that it can have global appeal.
The comments made by Pompeo were also significant because of an increase in tensions between the US and China over the manner in which Beijing had handled the novel coronavirus outbreak as well as the actions taken by China for Hong Kong, by implementing a the new controversial national security law in the island city and the almost two year long and still ongoing trade war.
The Indian government has recently banned TikTok in the country along with 58 other Chinese apps following a border clash with China.
According to a Reuters report that was published late on Monday, TikTok would be existing the Hong Kong market within days following the implementation of the sweeping new national security law for the city that many fear will dramatically curtail freedom of speech and democratic and human rights of people there.
Hong Kong was handed over to China by Britain 1997. At that time, one of the conditions of the handover was a guarantee of freedoms and far-reaching autonomy under a “one country, two systems”.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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