After banning Chinese telecom equipment vendors ZTE and Huawei in the USA, Will Trump also Ban Chinese apps?

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After the Indian government announced that it has banned 59 Chinese applications on social media platforms (such as Tiktok), the United States may also ban TikTok or WeChat Chinese applications.

President Donald Trump stated that his government is also considering banning the short video app TikTok in the United States as a possible way to retaliate against China due to coronavirus.

On Tuesday, Trump also commented when his Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said officials were considering banning the app as the parent company of the app is China’s ByteDance Ltd.

In an interview with Grey TV’s Greta Van Susteren, Trump talked about Pompeo’s speech: “This is what we want.” This is a big business. See, what happened with China with this virus, what they’ve done to this country and the entire world is disgraceful”.

The US government has already imposed a ban on Chinese sellers of telecom equipment, ZTE, and Huawei. Banning Chinese apps may be another step by the United States government against China.

Trump did not provide any details about the potential decision. He said that banning TikTok is “one of many ways” and he hopes to fight back against the Beijing government on the coronavirus. Coronavirus has infected nearly 3 million people in the United States and killed 130,000 people.

The president’s poll numbers have also plummeted because his response to the pandemic has been widely criticized, including his refusal to explicitly urge Americans to wear masks.

TikTok exaggerated its relationship with the United States and said it would not provide user data to China, thereby resisting Pompeo’s remarks. Pompeo told the government is thinking about banning Chinese apps like TikTok and other Chinese smartphone apps over security concerns and partly because of concerns about ownership.

After the confirmation of the Chinese apps ban in India, TikTok decided to maintain distance itself from China.

A company spokesperson stated: “TikTok is led by a US CEO and has hundreds of employees and key leaders in the US regarding safety, security, products and public policy.” “We have never given any user data to the government of China. No user data will ever be produced when demanded.”

TikTok hired former Disney executive Kevin Mayer as CEO last month. He also served as the chief operating officer of ByteDance.

Fox News host Laura Ingraham drew attention to India’s recent ban on nearly 60 Chinese apps, including TikTok, and asked the Pompeo government whether the Trump administration would also consider a ban in the United States Chinese application.

He then urged Americans not to download the Chinese apps unless they wish to see their private data “fall into the hands of the Communist Party of China.”

Pompeo further said: “No matter what the obstacles caused by the Huawei technology’s use in the infrastructure, we have expanded all over the world and have made substantial development in achieving this goal.” “We declare that ZTE and Huawei pose a threat to US national security. We have done all of these things. Regarding the application of China on people’s mobile phones, the United States will also do this precisely.”

Pompeo and other US government officials, including Senators Marco Rubio and Chuck Schumer, called for an investigation of TikTok, which may pose a threat to national security. The US government also conducted a national security review of Byte Dance’s acquisition of Musical.ly, which was later merged with TikTok.

It is believed that young people organized through Tiktok are one of the reasons why many people signed up for Trump’s first post-workout rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma last month, but did not show up later. The Trump campaign denies that the efforts of online organizations have led to higher absenteeism than expected.

According to Sensor Tower estimates, in the United States, TikTok has been downloaded more than 165 million times. TikTok denied any allegations of threats to US national security.

TikTok publicly expressed support for protecting user data from attacks by the Chinese government on Monday. According to the National Security Law, TikTok will cease operations in Hong Kong, which forces social media applications to hand over user data to Beijing. Douyin is another separate version of the app in China, which is operated by Tik Tok 

Privacy advocate and executive director of the “Commercial-Free Childhood Campaign” said that the Ministry of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission have asked him about the allegations made by his team and others to the Trade Commission.

Several privacy organizations claimed in May that the app collected information from children under the age of 13 without parental permission, which violated U.S. privacy laws and previous FTC agreements.

A TikTok spokesperson stated that the company “takes security issues very seriously for all users, and we will continue to strengthen protection measures and introduce further measures to protect young people in the application.” The spokesperson also suggested that parents must teach children to go online safely, give parents more control, and impose restrictions on users under the age of 13.

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