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

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TikTok announced new rules for its users on Wednesday to curb misinformation and manipulation ahead of the 2020 election.

Why it matters: The Chinese-owned karaoke app aims to show that its platform won't be vulnerable to election-related mischief and malice, as it weighs a deal to sell itself to Microsoft to forestall a ban by the Trump Administration.

TikTok sale drama clouds the app's genuine security concerns

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Political and economic motivations behind a sale or shutdown of TikTok in the U.S. are obscuring sincere security concerns raised by the rise of the Chinese-owned social video app.

The big picture: U.S. intelligence officials evince deep worry over Chinese companies’ ability to resist Beijing’s demands for data.

TikTok users are rising but time spent on the app is falling

Reproduced from CivicScience; Note: ±3.0% margin of error; Chart: Axios Visuals

TikTok has been all over the news in recent days, as President Trump has put the app squarely in his sights.

The state of play: New CivicScience data provided first to Axios show continued growth in TikTok’s user base since the beginning of the year, with 14% of those surveyed saying they use the app.