Since President Trump took office in January 2017, the US and China relations have gone downhill pretty quickly. And now, according to Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo the US is "looking at" a possible ban of TikTok among other Chinese apps.
This is a move that would be similar to what India did last week. India banned TikTok and nearly 60 other Chinese-made apps in the country, citing that they were collecting Indian data and storing it outside of India. Though it's not hard to tell that the real reason for this is because of the rising tensions on the border of India and China.
Secretary Pompeo did not say for sure that TikTok would be banned
It's important to note that in his interview with Fox News, Pompeo did not say that they were going to be banning TikTok in the US. But rather it is something they are looking at. Adding that "we have worked on this issue for a very long time."
Pompeo used Huawei and ZTE as an example, stating that "the problems of having Huawei technology in your infrastructure we've gone all over the world and we're making real progress getting that out." And said that "with respect to Chinese apps on peoples' cellphones, the United States will get this one right too."
The US recently declared Huawei and ZTE a danger to national security. Essentially killing any potential business that either company might have in the US. This was after Huawei was put on the entity list last year, forcing any American company with ties to Huawei, to cut them off.
Why is the US going after TikTok?
It's simple, really. TikTok is a pretty large Chinese app, in the US. In fact, it's almost bigger in the US than it is in its home country of China. The top three markets for TikTok are India (by a very large margin), then China and the US. Which means that TikTok has a lot of data on Indians and Americans.
Chinese companies are known for siphoning data through servers in China. Which makes sense, that is likely where their headquarters are, similar to how Google likely sends our data through Mountain View. But the thing here is what China does with this data. Many believe that what China does with this data is unethical and the US is finally starting to put its foot down about what data goes to China.
Since Trump took office, he has been pretty tough on China. And making it harder for them to run amuck around the world. China has taking many manufacturing jobs, and makes almost everything that is used in the world. And Trump wants that to stop. He has been working to renegotiate trade deals with China, and working to get American companies to bring manufacturing back home, or at least out of China. Like him or not, that is good for America.