The well-known TikTok application could be banned in the United States to protect American users and national security from Chinese Communist Party (CCP) control, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced.
The U.S. government is “analyzing” the potential ban of the TikTok application and other Chinese applications as a threat to national security, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in an interview with Fox News’s Laura Ingraham on Monday, July 6.
“We are taking this very seriously. We are certainly looking at it.” Pompeo said when asked if President Trump was taking action against the Chinese company. “We have worked on this very issue for a long time.”
TikTok is an application for creating short videos and synchronizing them with music that has been downloaded more than 2 billion times worldwide on App Store and Google Play, according to Sensor Tower Store Intelligence estimates. Sixty percent of the 36.5 million active users of the application in the United States are between the ages of 16 and 24, the company reported in 2019.
The massive use of TikTok has been generating debate in the Senate since last year, when Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), chairman of the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, spoke about the danger posed by the entry of Chinese technology platforms into the U.S. market.
“They can see who we talk to, what we talk about, where we congregate, what we capture on video. Not all of TikTok’s users are just kids, some work in government or for the military, others are celebrities or work for major American companies in positions of influence,” Hawley said, according to the National Review.
On March 4, Hawey announced at a Senate hearing that he would introduce legislation to ban the use of TikTok by all federal employees on government devices. “TikTok is owned by a Chinese company that includes Chinese Communist Party members in leadership, and it is requires by Chinese law to share user data with Beijing. TikTok has admitted that it has sent user data to China. To put it bluntly, this is a major security risk for the American people. … This legislation is a necessary step to protect the security of the United States and the data security of every American,” Hawey said.
But TikTok dismissed these accusations and told CNBC in a statement Monday that the social networking application is run by a former Disney executive, Kevin Mayer, and that it does not operate under the direction of Beijing.
In June of this year TikTok was banned in India and Australia is also considering it.
Jason Thacker, chief technology ethics researcher and creative director of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, in a Daily Caller interview, stressed the importance of being aware that behind TikTok is the CCP gaining power and that “we need to combat China morally on this.” According to Thacker this potential ban has “the opportunity to really highlight a lot of the human rights violations.”
When Ingraham asked Mike Pompeo if the Americans should download the application, his response was, “Only if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”