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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.
- TikTok said it will pull out of Hong Kong in response to a restrictive new national security law that went into effect last week.
- The moves come amid increasing military tensions between China and the U.S. in the South China Sea in recent weeks.
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."