President Trump says US may be banning TikTok

In a move that will strain US-China relations further, US President Donald Trump has said that he is thinking of barring popular Chinese app TikTok from the United States following concerns red flagged by American authorities about user data landing up in the hands of Chinese intelligence agencies.

“We are looking at TikTok, we may be banning TikTok. We may be doing some other things, we have a couple of options… But we are looking at a lot of alternatives with respect to TikTok,” the US President said while speaking to the media.

Hailing Narendra Modi government’s big decision to ban 59 Chinese apps in view of perceived national security threat, a group of 24 influential Republican Congressmen had written to President Donald Trump on July 15 urging a ban on TikTok and other Chinese mobile apps.

Extending support to Trump administration’s efforts to restrict TikTok and other social media platforms linked to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) from accessing US markets, the Parliamentarians in their letter to the President had alleged that these popular apps’ “data collection practices, coupled with China’s onerous cyber security laws requiring all companies operating in China, including TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, to share user data with CCP authorities, present a very real threat to US national security”.

Trump’s latest comments come after he had told reporters on Wednesday that the US government is thinking about imposing a ban on TikTok. “We are looking at TikTok,” Trump said when asked about possibly banning the Chinese application. “We are thinking about making a decision.”

Earlier in July, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Trump administration was considering a ban on access to the TikTok application over privacy concerns.

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India had recently banned 59 Chinese mobile applications including the widely-used social media platforms such as TikTok, WeChat, and Helo with a view of the threat to the nation’s sovereignty and security.

The majority of the apps banned in the June 29 order were red-flagged by intelligence agencies over concerns that they were collecting user data and possibly also sending them “outside”.

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