The massively popular video-sharing social networking app TikTok, which is known for its amateur lip-syncing, comedy and short dance videos that often feature popular music, has recently caught the attention from the United States government. According to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the country is “looking at” banning TikTok and other Chinese-owned social media apps, to protect privacy information.
“With respect to Chinese apps on people’s cell phones, I can assure you the United States will get this one right too, Laura,” Pompeo reportedly told Fox News Pundit Laura Ingraham yesterday. “I don’t want to get out in front of the President [Donald Trump], but it’s something we’re looking at.”
He went on to add that users should only download the apps “if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”
TikTok has quickly emerged as a way for artists to connect with fans and promote their brands, with many blogs and a few publications either promoting musicians or hosting how-to’s on TikTok marketing. Some of the more prominent artists who have been credited as seeing overnight success because of the app include Ambjaay, Y2K and bbno$, Lizzo, and Lil Nas X, who now has the longest-running number one single of all time.
The company says it operates independently from its owners ByteDance, which have come under criticism by United States officials as being a threat to national security. TikTok says its servers are held outside of China and that they do not send the government user data from the app.
“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,” a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement after Pompeo’s comments. “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.”