Following a ban in India, TikTok now faces a nationwide ban in the United States after security concerns were raised.
Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of State, confirmed that the app was among others by Chinese app makers to be considered for scrapping.
During a press conference he confirmed that the company continued to evaluate the security of its citizens. In addition, president Donald Trump indicated that the ban would serve as a punishment for China’s coronavirus response.
However, experts believe that a ban on the app is likely to happen soon.
Gordon Chang, the author of “The Coming Collapse of China,” told Fox News:
“I think that sometime this week we will hear an announcement from the Trump administration banning TikTok and possibly other Chinese apps.”
US security experts fear that Chinese technology transmits US user information to the Chinese state threatening privacy. TikTok, for example, collects geo-location data of users in real-time.
That is because the Chinese state has no such security provisions in place.
However, TikTok is not actually operational in China where it goes by the name Douyin.
The US office of TiKTok commented:
“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.”
The app recently hit a new milestone of two billion downloads globally with 19% of them originating out of the US.
The news could thus be a significant blow for TikTok and its owner ByteDance.