TikTok might be set to lose another market, with the United States “looking at” banning Chinese social media applications such as TikTok, according to Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo in an interview with Fox News.
Pompeo claimed that the U.S. government is taking the consideration of banning China-based applications “very seriously”.
Pompeo also pointed out the numerous security concerns that TikTok has, warning viewers that they should only download it if they want their “private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”
In a reply, a TikTok spokesperson stated that the company is “led by an American CEO, with hundreds of employees and key leaders across safety, security, product, and public policy here in the U.S.”
The statement also said that the company has “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.”
The U.S. is TikTok’s third-largest market after China and India, with statistics from Sensor Tower claiming that the U.S. has almost 8& of TikTok’s total all-time downloads.
Earlier on Tuesday July 7, TikTok announced that it had quit Hong Kong, taking the viral application from stores, after a new national security law was passed that required technology companies to hand over and allow the control of data about users in Hong Kong. This is a clear stance against the government control, going against Pompeo’s accusations.
TikTok’s parent company, Bytedance, has often being questioned over its relationship with the Chinese government, especially with its growth in popularity. However, Bytedance has insisted on numerous occasions that it would not share user data from outside of China with the Chinese government, yet the new law imposed by China on Hong Kong would have required it to do so.
Coincidentally, Pompeo had also praised India’s ban on several Chinese applications last week, one of which being TikTok, saying “We welcome India’s ban on certain mobile apps that can serve as appendages of the CCP’s surveillance state.”
Back in November, the U.S. government launched a national security investigation into TikTok.
In recent months, TikTok has been actively trying to distance itself from its Chinese origins, setting up numerous offices in the U.S., as well as hiring former Walt Disney executive Kevin Mayer as its CEO and as Bytedance’s COO.