White House trade advisor Peter Navarro said on Sunday that the United States will take “strong action” against China’s WeChat messaging service, as well as the controversial Chinese-owned video-sharing social media platform TikTok.
“[TikTok] and WeChat are the biggest forms of censorship on the Chinese mainland, and so expect strong action on that,” said Navarro in an interview with Fox Business on Sunday.
“What the American people have to understand is all of the data that goes into those mobile apps that kids have so much fun with and seem so convenient, it goes right to servers in China, right to the Chinese military, the Chinese communist party, and the agencies which want to steal our intellectual property,” he added.
WeChat is a communication tool used primarily by Chinese, including those in the West, but is known to censor content.
Perhaps the most outrageous example of censored content on WeChat occurred just in the past year, as previously reported by Breitbart News, in which medical information posted on the app by Dr. Li Wenliang, a Wuhan doctor, was censored.
Li, who was one of the first doctors to identify and diagnose the Chinese virus, had shared tips with other doctors on WeChat about how to prevent the spread of contagious diseases. WeChat quickly censored his tips — even though he shared them only with other doctors and not the public — and detained Li, forcing him to issue a humiliating public apology.
Li died in February of the Wuhan coronavirus at the age of 34.
Navarro’s comments about restricting WeChat arrive on the heels of both President Donald Trump and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirming that the United States is looking into banning TikTok.
“We have worked on this very issue for a long time,” said Pompeo. “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,” added the Secretary of State.
“We cannot and will not allow the Chinese Communist Party to exploit network vulnerabilities and compromise our critical communications infrastructure,” said Pai.