US government 'considering' TikTok ban

TikTok dark mode
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

The US is debating whether to ban a number of popular Chinese mobile apps, including social media titan TikTok in the latest blow to hit the company.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said it was “certainly looking at” banning TikTok and other social media apps following claims both it and parent company ByteDance shared information with the Chinese government

“I don’t want to get out in front of the President (Donald Trump), but it’s something we’re looking at,” Pompeo told Fox News in an interview.

TikTok US ban

When asked if he would recommend people to download TikTok, Pompeo doubled down on his accusations, stating, “Only if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”

TikTok denies the claims, saying it never sent user data to China or the Chinese government.

“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”, TikTok told Reuters an emailed statement.

TikTok has faced increasing scrutiny in recent months as its popularity skyrocketed around the world. The platform was one of 54 iOS apps built by Chinese firms that were revealed last week to be spying on user's mobile devices without their knowledge.

Despite having promised to put a stop to the practice months ago, it was found that TikTok still accesses clipboard data - and much more frequently than first thought. The app scrapes information whenever the user enters a punctuation mark or presses the spacebar; in other words, every few seconds.

The app also revealed it would be the latest tech giant to pull its services out of Hong Kong after the Chinese government set out new security plans in the city.

  • Also check out our complete list of the best VPN services

Via Reuters

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.