India and USA clamp down on China’s TikTok app

By on 08/07/2020
Tiktok: the app, which carries users’ one-minute broadcasts, has been banned in India – with the USA threatening to follow suit

The US government is considering banning the Chinese social media app TikTok due to fears over surveillance and data-gathering. Speaking to Laura Ingraham on Fox News, secretary of state Mike Pompeo said that the federal government is taking reports of Chinese apps being used for surveillance and propaganda extremely seriously. 

He said: “With respect to Chinese apps on people’s cell phones, I can assure you the United States will get this one right too.”

Pompeo stopped short of confirming the ban on TikTok, saying that he didn’t want to get ahead of any announcement from president Donald Trump. However, he confirmed that banning the app “is something we are looking at”.

He added that US citizens who use Chinese apps need to be careful, as they risk putting their private information “in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party”.

In June, Forbes reported that Apple had caught TikTok spying on millions of iPhone users. The incident was the second reported breach in the space of two months. 

From the Subcontinent to the States

News of the possible ban in the US comes just days after the Indian government announced that it had banned 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok. 

The government said the applications were engaged in activities “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”. 

It added that the nationwide ban was a response to “many complaints from various sources” about apps that were “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorised manner”.

A ministry spokesman said: “The compilation of these data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defence of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures.”

Since 5 May, Chinese and Indian troops have engaged in skirmishes at locations along the Sino-Indian border, including near the disputed Pangong Lake in Ladakh and the Tibet Autonomous Region, and near the border between Sikkim and the Tibet Autonomous Region.

About Adam Branson

One Comment

  1. Canadian Citizen

    09/07/2020 at

    An interesting and pertinent article.

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