President Donald Trump on Tuesday confirmed that his administration is looking at banning the Chinese-owned social media app TikTok.
“It’s something we’re looking at. Yes,” the president told Gray TV Full Court Press host Greta Van Susteren when asked about a potential ban on TikTok.
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) July 7, 2020
President Trump’s remarks come after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said a ban on Chinese-owned social media apps, including TikTok, is under consideration.
Pompeo responded when asked by Fox News Channel’s Ingraham Angle whether a ban 0n Chinese social media apps is on the table:
We’re certainly looking at it. We’ve worked on this very issue for a long time, whether it was the problems of having Huawei technology in your infrastructure — we’ve gone all over the world and we’re making real progress getting that out. We declared ZTE a danger to American national security. We’ve done all of these things. With respect to Chinese apps on people’s cell phones, I can assure you, the United States will get this one right too.
“I don’t want to get out in front of the president, but it’s something we’re looking at,” he added.
The Secretary of State then quipped TikTok should only be used “if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”
TikTok was recently one of around 60 Chinese apps to be banned in India amid rising tensions between the two countries over a deadly border dispute in the Himalayas.
TikTok said Tuesday it will stop operations in Hong Kong, joining other social media companies in warily eyeing ramifications of a sweeping national security law that took effect last week.
The short-form video app’s planned departure from Hong Kong comes as various social media platforms and messaging apps including Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram, Google, and Twitter balk at the possibility of providing user data to Hong Kong authorities.
The social media companies say they are assessing implications of the security law, which prohibits what Beijing views as secessionist, subversive, or terrorist activities or as foreign intervention in the city’s internal affairs. In the communist-ruled mainland, foreign social media platforms are blocked by China’s “Great Firewall.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.