Mike Pompeo
US secretary of state Mike Pompeo | Photo: Flickr
Text Size:

New Delhi: Just over a week after the Indian government banned 59 Chinese apps, including the popular video platform TikTok, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has hinted that the US may also consider a similar ban.

In an interview to Fox News, Pompeo said he and President Trump are taking the reports seriously after the show host pointed out that India had already banned the apps.

“We are taking this very seriously and we are certainly looking at it. We have worked on this very issue for a long time…” said Pompeo.

Not divulging more details before any presidential announcement on this, he said, “…it is something we are looking at.” Pompeo added that people should download the app only “if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party”.

US lawmakers have previously expressed concerns about Chinese apps — pointedly raising national security concerns over TikTok’s handling of user data — as well as Chinese laws that require domestic companies to cooperate with intelligence work controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.

The US has more than 30 million monthly active users of TikTok, which comprises five per cent of the app’s global audience. It was also the top non-game app downloaded in the US in February 2019.

Also read: Everyone’s talking about TikTok but ‘100 million’ Indian smartphone users are missing this app

We are deeply grateful to our readers & viewers for their time, trust and subscriptions.

Quality journalism is expensive and needs readers to pay for it. Your support will define our work and ThePrint’s future.


Pompeo hails India’s ban on Chinese apps

On 29 June, the Indian government banned 59 Chinese apps for being “prejudicial” to national security.

Pompeo hailed the move and said that it “can serve as appendages of Chinese Communist Party’s surveillance state.” He also said that India’s “clean app approach will boost India’s sovereignty and boost integrity and national security”.

While TikTok is not available in China, after the ban in India, the company has taken further steps to distance itself from the country to appeal to a more global audience.

Chief Executive Officer of TikTok Kevin Mayer said while China has not asked for any user data, they will not provide it even if the occasion arises.

Recently, the app also pulled out of Hong Kong after a legal controversy “that grants the Hong Kong government sweeping powers to police the online and public spheres”.

Pompeo’s remarks come at a time when US-China relations are severely strained due to the latter’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak, a long standing trade-war and China’s actions in Hong Kong.

China recently passed a security law in Hong Kong, which gives Beijing the power to shape life in the island nation.

Also read: Video-sharing app Chingari, the ‘accidental’ Indian start-up that’s replacing TikTok


Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

News media is in a crisis & only you can fix it

You are reading this because you value good, intelligent and objective journalism. We thank you for your time and your trust.

You also know that the news media is facing an unprecedented crisis. It is likely that you are also hearing of the brutal layoffs and pay-cuts hitting the industry. There are many reasons why the media’s economics is broken. But a big one is that good people are not yet paying enough for good journalism.

We have a newsroom filled with talented young reporters. We also have the country’s most robust editing and fact-checking team, finest news photographers and video professionals. We are building India’s most ambitious and energetic news platform. And we aren’t even three yet.

At ThePrint, we invest in quality journalists. We pay them fairly and on time even in this difficult period. As you may have noticed, we do not flinch from spending whatever it takes to make sure our reporters reach where the story is. Our stellar coronavirus coverage is a good example. You can check some of it here.

This comes with a sizable cost. For us to continue bringing quality journalism, we need readers like you to pay for it. Because the advertising market is broken too.

If you think we deserve your support, do join us in this endeavour to strengthen fair, free, courageous, and questioning journalism, please click on the link below. Your support will define our journalism, and ThePrint’s future. It will take just a few seconds of your time.

Support Our Journalism

Share Your Views


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here