Mon | Sep 28, 2020

Pompeo says Trump to take broad action on Chinese software

Published:Sunday | August 2, 2020 | 5:54 PM
A man wearing a shirt promoting TikTok is seen at an Apple store in Beijing on Friday, July 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump plans to take action on what he sees as a broad array of national security risks presented by software connected to the Chinese Communist Party, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday.

Pompeo’s remarks followed reports that Microsoft is in advanced talks to buy the US operations of TikTok, which has been a source of national security and censorship concerns for the Trump administration.

“These Chinese software companies doing business in the United States, whether it’s TikTok or WeChat — there are countless more ... are feeding data directly to the Chinese Communist Party, their national security apparatus,” Pompeo said on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures.”

“Could be their facial recognition patterns. It could be information about their residence, their phone numbers, their friends, who they’re connected to. Those — those are the issues that President Trump has made clear we’re going to take care of,” he said.

TikTok’s US user data is stored in America, with strict controls on employee access, and its biggest investors come from the US, the company said Sunday.

“We are committed to protecting our users’ privacy and safety as we continue working to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform,” a TikTok spokesperson said.

Trump had said on Friday that he would soon ban TikTok in the United States. 

TikTok’s Chinese ownership has raised concern about the potential for sharing user data with Chinese officials as well as censorship of videos critical of the Chinese government.

TikTok says it does not censor videos and it would not give the Chinese government access to US user data.

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