White House says TikTok ban could happen in coming weeks

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The coming weeks could prove decisive for the wildly popular social media app TikTok, as the White House is reportedly looking at banning it in the near future.

This follows comments from the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, who stated that the United States would certainly be “looking into” a ban, resulting from the recent security law passed by the Chinese government regarding privacy and access to data of Hong Kong citizens.

That same law saw TikTok remove the app from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store in Hong Kong, and since then the company has been increasing efforts to separate itself from parent company ByteDance and any ties to the Chinese government.

Those efforts may be in vein though, as Donald Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows recently briefed media on the situation.

“There are a number of administration officials who are looking at the national security risk as it relates to TikTok, WeChat and other apps that have the potential for national security exposure, specifically as it relates to the gathering of information on American citizens by a foreign adversary” he explained.

“I don’t think there’s any self-imposed deadline for action, but I think we are looking at weeks, not months,” Meadows added.

As such, it looks like the fate of TikTok is very much out of its hands, as more countries begin to look into the app, and whether it poses any kind of threat from a data privacy perspective.

We have already seen India ban the app, alongside 58 other Chinese apps, and Australia too is mulling over banning it in its country.

At the time of writing, we have not heard any news out of TikTok’s local arm, but should more countries choose to ban the app, eyes will likely shift to our own government and its stance on the app.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Editor of Hypertext. Covers smartphones, IoT, 5G, cloud computing and a few things in between. Also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games when not taking the hatchet to stories.

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