U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday said U.S. was considering a ban on certain Chinese apps, including the popular video platform TikTok, which had a large user base among youths.
However, in its response, TikTok insisted it does not share user data with the Chinese Government and stressed its U.S.-related bona fides.
According to the company, TikTok is led by an American CEO, with hundreds of employees and key leaders across safety, security, product, and public policy in the U.S.
“We have never provided user data to the Chinese government, nor will we do so if asked,“the company said.
Asked on Fox News Channel if he would ban Chinese social media apps, Pompeo said, “We’re certainly looking at it, while warning that users’ data would allegedly be given to the government in Beijing.“
“With respect to Chinese apps on people’s cell phones, I can assure you the U.S. will get it right too,” Pompeo said.
Pompeo noted that the U.S. had been pushing for bans domestically and in allied countries of certain Chinese technology.
TikTok allows users to create short videos, often with some basic effects and music, which have become increasingly popular, particularly among younger ones.
The social media company, which is run by China-based start-up ByteDance, said TikTok was not available in China itself. Its user data was usually stored outside mainland.
App Annie, which tracks mobile data, said TikTok was the most popular download in the first quarter of the year.