Last week, it was announced that India would ban video platform TikTok, as well as 58 other Chinese-owned applications. The move comes after concerns from government-level officials on privacy issues. Now, it appears that the U.S., perhaps one of the biggest market regions for the social media app will follow suit with rumours that America will also ban the app.
During an interview with Fox News on Monday night, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made the announcement. “I don’t want to get out in front of the President, but it’s something we’re looking at,” Pompeo said. He added that Americans should only download the app “if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”
Like India, this could include a whole suite of Chinese-owned applications such as Shein, Clash of Kings and WeChat. The move comes after tensions worsen between countries and China, spurred on by the pandemic.
TikTok is owned by ByteDance, although regions are attempting to distance themselves from the parent company.
“TikTok is led by an American CEO, with hundreds of employees and key leaders across safety, security, product and public policy in the U.S.,” a TikTok spokesperson told CNBC. “We have no higher priority than providing 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.”
TikTok has been known to launch the influencer careers of hundreds of young people. So we beg the question, what’s next?
Stay tuned for further developments.