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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News' Laura Ingraham on Monday that the Trump administration is "looking at" a ban on Chinese social media app TikTok.

Why it matters: Lawmakers have long expressed fears that the Chinese government could use TikTok to harvest reams of data from Americans — and actions against the app have recently accelerated worldwide, highlighted by India's ban.

What he's saying:

POMPEO: Laura, your viewers should know we're taking this very seriously. 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've 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, Laura. I don't want to get out in front of the president but it's something we're looking at.
INGRAHAM: Would you recommend that people download that app on their phones? Tonight, tomorrow, anytime currently?
POMPEO: Only if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party. 

The other side: "TikTok 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. We have no higher priority than promoting a safe and secure app experience for our users," a TikTok spokesperson said in response to Pompeo's comments, per CNBC.

  • "We have never provided user data to the Chinese government, nor would we do so if asked."

Go deeper

Oct 6, 2020 - World

Exclusive: Top German official hushed up report on China’s influence

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

A high-ranking German official suppressed a sensitive intelligence report in 2018 on China’s growing influence in Germany out of fear it would damage business ties with China, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Business interests have long shaped Germany’s relationship with China, to the detriment of human rights concerns and even national security. 

Biden gets mixed grades on revolving door

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Biden is getting mixed marks for his reliance on industry insiders to staff his administration during its first 100 days.

Why it matters: Progressives have leaned on the new president to limit the revolving door between industry and government. A new report from the Revolving Door Project praises him on that front but highlights key hires it deems ethically questionable.

Exclusive: Sen. Coons sees new era of bipartisanship on China

Sen. Chris Coons. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Jan. 6 insurrection was a "shock to the system," propelling members of Congress toward the goal of shoring up America's ability to compete with China, Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) told Axios during an interview Thursday.

Why it matters: Competition between China's authoritarian model and the West's liberal democratic one is likely to define the 21st century. A bipartisan response would help the U.S. present a united front.