During an Monday night Fox News interview, Mike Pompeo said the United States could be looking to ban TikTok in the US. Numerous social media platforms that are dark in mainland China have enjoyed access to the semiautonomous territory - but a controversial new Chinese national security law has prompted tech giants such as Facebook and and Google to reconsider.
Responding to a question on whether the United States is mulling a ban, Pompeo reportedly said, "We are taking this very seriously".
"I don't want to get out in front of the President [Donald Trump], but it's something we're looking at", Pompeo said on Monday in an interview with Fox News.
"The Chinese Communist Party's destruction of free Hong Kong continues", Pompeo said in a sharply worded statement.
But since last fall, US 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. At the same time, India has recently banned the platform - along with scores of other Chinese apps - amid a border dispute between it and China. "We've worked on this very issue for a long time, whether it's having Huawei technology in your infrastructure, we're gone all over the world and we're making real progress getting that out".
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"TikTok is led by an American CEO", the spokesperson says.
The Associated Press reports ByteDance says all its TikTok data is stored in servers in the US and insisted it would not remove content even if asked to do so by the Chinese government.
"We have no higher priority than promoting a safe and secure app experience for our users".
If the Trump Administration does ban TikTok, it could cause some big implications within the entertainment industry.
TikTok has become a global sensation with users sharing 15 to 60-second video clips on everything from hair dye tutorials to dance routines and gags about daily life.