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US may ban communist Chinese app TikTok over security concerns

TikTok, the social media app gaining popularity in the U.S. and around the world, may soon be banned. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said late on Monday that the United States is “certainly looking at” a ban on Chinese social media apps, including TikTok.

“I don’t want to get out in front of the President but it’s something we’re looking at,” Pompeo said in an interview.

U.S. lawmakers have raised 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.”

The app, which is not available in China, has sought to distance itself from its China-based owner ByteDance to appeal to a global audience and claims to be independent of the Chinese regime. ByteDance has deep ties to the communist party.

Pompeo’s remarks also come amid increasing U.S.-China tensions over the handling of the coronavirus outbreak, China’s actions in Hong Kong, and nearly two-years of difficult trade negotiations.

What is Tiktok?

TikTok, a short-form video app, was recently banned in India along with 58 other Chinese apps after a border clash between India and China.

Reuters reported late on Monday that TikTok would exit the Hong Kong market within days, deciding to do so after China’s establishment of a sweeping new national security law for the semi-autonomous city.

–Wire services

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