President Trump on Wednesday said his administration is “looking at” banning TikTok, adding to the scrutiny the popular social media app faces over its data collection policies and close ties to China.
You can see the president’s brief comments on TikTok, as well as today’s congressional hearing featuring several major tech companies, below, via ABC News:
"We're looking at TikTok, we're thinking about making a decision," Pres. Trump says when asked about whether he was nearing decision about banning the platform.
Trump says he will be watching today's congressional hearing with tech CEOs "very closely." https://t.co/8I1V5xHPAF pic.twitter.com/EriETVCwrW
— ABC News (@ABC) July 29, 2020
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It’s unclear if the president meant he’s considering a full ban from the U.S., in the same way India recently banned TikTok and several other Chinese apps. TikTok, which is owned by Beijing-based Bytedance, has found itself in D.C.’s crosshairs lately, as lawmakers and regulators question the app’s data collection practices, as well as its connection to China’s communist government; TkTok has denied ever sharing user data with China’s government.
Trump’s comments come a few weeks after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also said the U.S. government was “looking into” banning the app. And this week, presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden had his staffers delete the app from both their personal and work phones, siting security concerns.
TikTok has also been feeling the heat from its competition as well. CEO Kevin Mayer came out swinging on Wednesday, ripping Facebook for looking to present itself as an example of American values when its chief, Mark Zuckerberg, testifies before Congress. Mayer said Facebook’s barbs were “disguised as patriotism,” while also ripping the company for unveiling its own copycat features on Instagram, which Facebook owns.
For more on this topic, TheWrap recently looked at 4 apps that could benefit if a TikTok ban were to happen.