TikTok To Exit Hong Kong; U.S. Mulls Ban: Reports

The United States is looking at banning TikTok, the China-based short form video app, which has been banned recently by India citing threat to national security.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported that TikTok, owned by China’s ByteDance, has decided to exit Hong Kong market after China established a new national security law for the semi-autonomous city. According to TikTok, the decision was because it was not clear if Hong Kong would now fall entirely under China.

As part of its strategy to appeal to wider global audience, the app’s design doesn’t allow access by mainland China. For China, ByteDance operates a short short video sharing app called Douyin.

The U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, during an interview with Fox News, said the country is very seriously looking at banning TikTok and other Chinese social media apps.

Pompeo added that people should only download the app if they want their private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.

Responding to Pompeo’s comments, a TikTok spokesperson reportedly said, “TikTok is led by an American CEO, with hundreds of employees and key leaders across safety, security, product, and public policy here in the US. We have no higher priority than promoting a safe and secure app experience for our users. We have never provided user data to the Chinese government, nor would we do so if asked.”

Former Walt Disney Co. executive Kevin Mayer is the Chief Operating Officer of ByteDance and Chief Executive Officer of TikTok. ByteDance’s mobile video app has said earlier that it would not comply with any of Chinese government’s requests to censor its content or access user data.

TikTok recently entered the Top 100 ranking in the world’s most valuable brand for the first time and was ranked seventy ninth, according to an annual survey by consultancy firm Kantar.

Concerned about national security, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week banned 59 Chinese mobile applications like TikTok, SHAREiT, UC Browser and WeChat, after a border stand-off with the neighboring country.

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