Amidst worsening relations between Washington and Beijing, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday that Chinese software companies doing business in the United States are feeding data directly to the Chinese Communist Party.
“These Chinese software companies doing business in the United States, whether it`s TikTok or WeChat – there are countless more,” Pompeo said on Fox News quoting White House trade adviser Peter Navarro “are feeding data directly to the Chinese Communist Party, their national security apparatus”.
Pompeo further said that vital information-facial recognition patterns, information about their residence, phone numbers-are being passed over directly to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
“They`re true privacy issues for the American people and for a long time, a long time, the United States just said, well goodness, if we`re having fun with it or if a company can make money off of it, we`re going to permit that to happen,” Pompeo said.
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“President Trump has said enough and we`re going to fix it. And so he will take action in the coming days with respect to a broad array of national security risks that are presented by software connected to the Chinese Communist Party,” he added.
US President Donald Trump on Friday (local time) said that his administration may ban the Chinese video-sharing application TikTok.
“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.
This comes after President Donald Trump 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.”
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The US politicians have repeatedly criticised TikTok, owned by Beijing-based startup ByteDance, of being a threat to national security because of its ties to China.
Earlier this month, expressing concern over TikTok’s censorship of user content to advance the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) foreign policy aims, a set of 25 US Congressmen and Congresswomen urged President Donald Trump to “take decisive action to protect the American people’s privacy and safety”.