With the growing cases of coronavirus, the tensions between the US and China grew to a high extent. Mr. Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of State said that the thought of banning Chinese social media apps like TikTok has been pit under consideration. Pompeo said that this matter is being taken seriously and the nation is ‘looking at’ it. He also said that “With respect to Chinese apps on people’s cellphones, the United States will get this one right too.”
The lawmakers in the US have a growing concern over TikTok’s relationship between the Chinese Government and its parent company that is the Beijing based ByteDance. This concern further increases with the question of – how is user data handled by TikTok? The lawmakers also suppose that because of the Chinese influence on TikTok, the company may have been pressurized for handing over data and other intelligence to the Chinese Communist Party.
When Mike was asked about his recommendations for people to download the TikTok app, he remarked that “Only if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”
Mr. Mike’s remarks were responded by a spokesperson of TikTok, who wrote “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.”
Pompeo also mentioned that the tensions have increased between the United States and China over handling the COVID-19 outbreak, a nearly 2-year trade war, and China’s actions in the former British colony of Hong Kong.
The country’s important people have stared to stand against the use and availability of TikTok in their nation. The hashtags which were earlier started by Indian citizens have now got its roots in the American territory as well.
.@tiktok_us is an extension of the Communist Chinese government and needs to be banned in America. The President and @SecPompeo will thoroughly and swiftly determine what’s best. We cannot allow them to operate and be a conduit back to #China. #BanTikTok https://t.co/5QKw1PR8X0— Rep Rick Crawford (@RepRickCrawford) July 7, 2020
Recently the Government of India announced the ban of 59 Chinese apps which included TikTok as well because of the ongoing Indi-Chini clash that has raised the concern of national security. The government said that “These measures have been undertaken since there is credible information that these apps are engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, security of state and public order.” This was further responded by TikTok India saying that the user data is safe and secure moreover the company takes care of all data privacy and security requirements under Indian law.
After the declaration of its ban from India, TikTok chose to step distance itself from China. The was already not available in China and to have a global appeal, this major step was taken by the company.
The friendly connection between India and America has some influence over this “certainly looking at” decision that is waiting to be implemented in the US. The company has earlier mentioned how their data centers are not located in China and none of that data is subjected to Chinese law. It further stated that with a backup in Singapore, the data of American users are stored in the US itself.
Hence clashes with China have directly affected the wellbeing of TikTok company.