ByteDance’s social networking app, TikTok, has denied it fweds its data to China in a move to avert an impending US ban.
Earlier today, US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo warned that the US is looking at banning Chinese socia media apps including TikTok.
In a response to the threat to block it from the US, TikTok said:
“TikTok 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.,” a company spokesperson said. “We have never provided user data to the Chinese government, nor would we do so if asked.”
It would be recalled that TikTok hired former Walt Disney Co. executive Kevin Mayer as chief executive officer last month. He also serves as chief operating officer of ByteDance Ltd., the Chinese parent company of TikTok.
Should the US ban TikTok, it will be a huge blow to the fast rising app after India announced a ban on the company.
After a bloody border clash between India and China, India has now banned TikTok, Wechat and other Chinese social media apps.
The block is a huge blow from TikTok considering that India is its largest market out of China. If the ban should subsist, TikTok could lose over 150 million users it has garnered in India in the last one year.
As to how huge is the ban for TikTok, ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok said it was estimated to make about $1 billion in advertising revenue from India this year.
Earlier today, US Secretary of state said the country is considering banning TikTok and other Chinese apps.
Mike Pompeo suggested the possible move during an interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham.
To show the severity of the plan, he added that “we’re taking this very seriously.”
When Pompeo was asked by Ingraham whether the United States should be considering a ban on Chinese social media apps, he said:, “especially TikTok.”
“With respect to Chinese apps on people’s cell phones, I can assure you the United States will get this one right too, Laura,” he said. “I don’t want to get out in front of the President [Donald Trump], but it’s something we’re looking at.”
Washington’s top diplomat added that people should only download the app “if you want your private information in the hands of the
Chinese Communist Party.”
TikTok did not immediately responded to the news.
This year, TikTok has become the most popular social media platform with over 800 million users worldwide.
TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Beijing-based internet technology company founded in 2012 by Zhang Yiming.