President Trump said on Wednesday that the United States was considering banning the TikTok social media app, fearing it could be used by China to spy on Americans.
“We’re looking at TikTok, we’re thinking we’re making a decision,” he told reporters in South Lawn before leaving the White House for a day trip to Texas.
US officials have raised concerns about the Chinese government stealing private and personal data via Americans’ cell phones via such smartphone applications.
Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin also said the app is under review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. He also informed reporters he would have a recommendation for the president this week on how to handle the Chinese-based app.
This comes days Joe Biden’s presidential campaign banned staffers from using the Chinese video-sharing app, citing security and privacy concerns.
In a memo on Monday, Biden’s general counsel, Dana Remus, ordered staff members to delete TikTok from both their personal and work phones, and to ‘refrain from downloading and using TikTok,’ according to Bloomberg.
The memo also bans staff from trading individual stocks without approval from the campaign’s general counsel.
TikTok faces regulatory challenges across the globe, and a potential ban by the U.S. government over suspicions Beijing could force its Chinese owner to turn over user data.
The Senate is currently slated to vote on a bill that would ban the use of TikTok on all government-issued devices.
The ‘No TikTok on Government Devices Act’ sponsored by Senator Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican, was passed unanimously by the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
Few days ago, India banned 47 more Chinese apps just weeks after blocking popular video-sharing platform TikTok and 58 others over national security and privacy concerns.