US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated on Monday that the United States is making considerations over the removal of TikTok and other Chinese social media platforms due to national security concerns.
Pompeo said he does not wish to preempt the president, but it is a matter they are looking at.
He stated that people should refrain from downloading the prevalent app due to the fact that their private information will be in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party, reported KWCH 12.
Pompeo remarked to Fox News host Laura Ingraham, "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 (Donald Trump), but it's something we're looking at," according to Syracuse.
The company that owned TikTok denied allegations that it shared private information with the Chinese government.
American lawmakers have underscored national security concerns over the social media platform's user data handling. Such concerns were Chinese laws imposing domestic companies to participate in intelligence work oversaw by the Chinese Communist Party, reported CBC.
Pompeo has asserted that they are taking the issue very seriously.
According to a TikTok spokesman in response to Pompeo's comments, the app is spearheaded by an American CEO "with hundreds of employees and key leaders across safety, security, product, and public policy here in the US."
Owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, the video platform has a surmised 65-80 million active monthly users in America. The videos posted are 15-second videos with music, quick edits, and filters.
TikTok became prevalent in the past year, acquiring over 175 million downloads in America and over 1 billion users globally.
The app has earlier stated that they operate independently from the Beijing-based startup ByteDance.
Also, they claim that their information centers are located outside China's borders. Thus, Chinese law is not imposed on their operation.
ByteDance spearheads a separate app in China named Douyin.
The startup hired Kevin Mayer, a former Disney executive, for the position of TikTok's CEO in early 2020 to regain trust with regulators and to be a separate entity from China for more appeal across the globe.
TikTok issued a statement that it is their utmost priority to promoting a user experience bounded with security. "We have never provided user data to the Chinese government, nor would we do so if asked."
The Secretary of State's remarks coincide with building tension between the US and China concerning national security, technology, and trade.
While TikTok's US user information is stored in the US, they have a backup in Singapore.
US politicians have suggested probing into TikTok's relationship with its parent company and China's government. They also proposed to investigate such association mark a counterintelligence threat in the US.
ByteDance is a Chinese tech company that also established real estate search and travel search websites. It is one of the globe's most prominent firms.