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The US Considers Banning Popular Chinese App TikTok

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Jenna Delport
Jenna Delport
I’m a tech writer, world traveller, avocado-eater and dog lover, not always in that order.

TikTok might be banned by the US over concerns of the popular Chinese video-sharing platform’s ability to handle user data as well as its relationship with parent company, ByteDance.

US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo in response to the ban rumours told Fox News that “We are taking this very seriously. We are certainly looking at it. With respect to Chinese apps on peoples’ cellphones, the United States will get this one right too.”

The Verge reports that motivation for the ban stems from the fact that “lawmakers allege that TikTok could be pressured into handing over data or other intelligence to the Chinese Communist Party”.

However, TikTok has taken a stand against these accusations, writing “TikTok is led by an American CEO, with hundreds of employees and key leaders across safety, security, product, and public policy here in the US. 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.”

There’s no word just yet on whether or not the ban will come in effect.

India Bans TikTok Amid Border Tensions

Just last week, India banned the popular Chinese app – as well as 58 others – as tensions between the two countries continue to rise.

India’s Ministry of Information Technology says that the 59 banned apps are “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”.

It is alleged in the same government release that some of the banned apps have been found to be “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India.” No particular apps or examples of this behaviour were mentioned in the release, however.

Edited by Jenna Cook
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