U.S. Could Potentially Ban Tiktok and Other Chinese Social Media Apps

The U.S. is investigating possibly banning short form video app TikTok as well as other Chinese social media apps, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, according to CNBC.

Pompeo has said the possibility is being taken seriously.

“We have 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 declared ZTE a danger to American national security,” Pompeo said, referring to the two Chinese telecommunications networking companies.

Pompeo said people should only download the app if they would like their private information to be put in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party, according to CNN.

Officials at TikTok, which is owned by China-based ByteDance, say they plan to leave the Hong Kong market possibly in days. This comes just weeks after TikTok teens used the platform to troll a June 19 Trump rally by requesting tickets and not attending.

TikTok has said the app’s user data is not stored in China; the company is now run by former Walt Disney Company executive Kevin Mayer. Company officials previously said U.S. user data is stored in the U.S. and there is a backup in Singapore. TikTok also said its data centers are not located in China, so none of the data is subject to Chinese law.

TikTok has also stated it would not comply with requests made by the Chinese government to censor content or any appeals to access TikTok’s user data.