Last week, President Trump told reporters that he was going to ban TikTok, the popular short form video app that's owned by Chinese company ByteDance. It hasn't happened yet, partly due to the interest Microsoft may have in purchasing the company. But now it looks like the Trump administration wants to go further than just banning TikTok. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced an expansion of the Clean Network effort including a new initiative seeking to ban "untrusted" Chinese apps from digital platforms in the US.
Pompeo made the comments yesterday in a press briefing, calling it an expansion of the Clean Network program launched earlier this year. “With parent companies based in China, apps like TikTok and WeChat and others, are significant threats to personal data of American citizens,” the secretary said. The new moves also call for US apps to be removed from Chinese-based app stores such as the Huawei AppGallery.
Some of the other directives include limiting the ability of Chinese cloud storage providers to store data in the US, ensuring that Chinese telecommunications carriers are not connected with US networks, and protecting undersea cables connecting the country to the global internet from Chinese interference. It's the latest in the government's initiatives aimed at curbing potential national security risks from China, but I'm sure it also puts additional pressure on ByteDance to sell off TikTok to an American company ASAP. One thing's for sure — no matter who ends up owning TikTok, those teeny boppers will keep on dancing.
- US Department of State