U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Washington ‘looking at’ banning Chinese social media apps
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday said that Washington was considering banning Chinese social media apps, such as TikTok, amid ongoing tensions between the two states over the coronavirus pandemic and trade issues.
“I don’t want to get out in front of the president [Donald Trump], but it’s something we’re looking at,” Pompeo told Fox News.
The announcement follows India banning 59 Chinese mobile apps, including TikTok, following a deadly clash between Beijing and New Delhi at the Line of Actual Control. At least 20 India soldiers were killed in the conflict.
China, last week, expressed strong concern over India’s decision to ban mobile apps developed by its nationals. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters that India has a responsibility to uphold the rights of Chinese businesses.
In addition to TikTok, India has also banned Alibaba’s UC Browser, and Tencent’s WeChat, with New Delhi claiming the apps had security concerns prompting their suspension. TitTok has vowed to contest the ban in court.
TikTok this week announced it was exiting Hong Kong after China imposed a controversial national security law that criminalizes secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign powers.