US "Looking At" Banning TikTok, Mike Pompeo says

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

On the heels of a ban of Chinese social media apps including the popular TikTok in India, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said the US government is also "looking at" banning TikTok and other Chinese social media apps. “We are taking this very seriously. We are certainly looking at it,” Pompeo said in a statement to Fox News on Monday. “We have worked on this very issue for a long time,” he said.

Pompeo's statement comes amid rising tensions between the U.S. and China and concerns of China-originated social media apps being possibly used maliciously. TikTok, which is owned by Chinese tech conglomerate ByteDance, has been particularly singled out due to its rapid rise and adoption globally. TikTok currently spots hundreds of millions of users globally. The social media app has long-faced scrutiny from some U.S. authorities and has long made moves to try to distance itself from its Chinese origins, moves that included hiring an American CEO earlier this year. Kevin Mayer, a former Disney executive, took up the CEO position at TikTok in May and has since focused on building trust with regulators.

TikTok's concerns center on storage and access to user data, particularly if such data could be accessed and used maliciously.

“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. We have never provided user data to the Chinese government, nor would we do so if asked,” a TikTok spokesperson responded in response to Mike Pompeo's statement.