Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday said that the United States is “certainly looking at” banning Chinese social media apps, including TikTok.
“I don’t want to get out in front of the President (Donald Trump), but it’s something we’re looking at,” Pompeo said in an interview with Fox News.
This comes days after Pompeo lauded India’s “clean app approach” saying New Delhi’s decision to ban 59 Chinese apps will “boost the country’s sovereignty and boost integrity and national security”.
The Indian and Chinese armies were locked in a bitter standoff in multiple locations in eastern Ladakh for the last two months, and the tension escalated manifold after 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a violent clash in Galwan Valley on June 15.
Days after the brutal face-off, the Indian government on June 29 banned 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok, Shareit, UC Browser and Xiaomi’s Mi Community over national security concerns in a diplomatic reaction to the Chinese aggression.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, invoking it’s power under section 69 A of the Information Technology Act read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009 and in view of the emergent nature of threats decided to block 59 apps since in view of the information available they are “engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of state and public order”.
Upon receiving of recent credible inputs that such Apps pose threat to sovereignty and integrity of India, the Government of India has decided to disallow the usage of certain Apps, used in both mobile and non-mobile Internet-enabled devices, a ministry statement read.
The Government also asserted that this move will safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users. This decision is a “targeted move to ensure safety and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace,” it said.
The United States had widely encouraged the action and some prominent lawmakers also urged the American government to follow suit as it is believed that the short video-sharing app TikTok is a major security risk to the country.
Former US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley had also last week lauded the move saying “India is continuing to show it won’t back down from China’s aggression”.
“Good to see India banning 59 popular apps owned by Chinese firms, including TikTok, which counts India as one of its largest markets,” she said.
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump has said that Beijing’s aggressive stance along its border with India fits with the larger pattern of Chinese aggression in other parts of world and confirms the “true nature” of the Chinese Communist Party.