According to the US Secretary of State Mike Pompe, the United States Government is considering banning social media app TikTok because it views the app as a security threat.
The video app, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, has an estimated 65-80 million active monthly users in the U.S., who share 15-second videos with quick edits, music, and filters.
However, U.S. lawmakers have been calling for an investigation of TikTok’s relationship with its parent company and the Chinese government and of whether those reported ties pose a counterintelligence threat in America.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News the Trump administration is “certainly looking” at banning Chinese social media apps, including TikTok.
In response, a TikTok spokesperson told ABC News that the company 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.”
TikTok has become enormously popular amid coronavirus shutdowns across the U.S., with users spending an estimated 52 minutes each day and the number of unique visitors growing exponentially between January and April, according to Wallaroo Media, a digital advertising firm.
This threat to ban the app is not only in the U.S, just last week the Indian government said it would ban TikTok and other well-known Chinese apps because they pose a “threat to sovereignty and integrity.” Tensions between India and China have been escalating after a clash along the Himalayan border.