US ‘certainly looking at’ banning Chinese social media apps, including Tik Tok: Pompeo

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Tensions between the United States and China continue to simmer with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying Monday that Washington was “certainly looking at” banning Chinese social media apps including Tik Tok. 

“I don’t want to get out in front of the President (Donald Trump), but it’s something we’re looking at,” Pompeo said in an interview with Fox News.

The development comes a few days after India announced it was boycotting 59 Chinese mobile apps following a deadly clash between China and India, resulting in at least 20 soldiers of the latter getting killed. 

China, last week, expressed strong concern over India’s ban of Chinese mobile apps.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters during a daily briefing that India has a responsibility to uphold the rights of Chinese businesses.

The banned Chinese mobile apps include Bytedance’s TikTok, Alibaba’s UC Browser, and Tencent’s WeChat with New Delhi undertaking the move, citing security concerns. 

The apps are “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”, the ministry of information technology said.

The ban comes after a deadly border conflict between the two nuclear-armed nations earlier this month in which 20 Indian soldiers have died.

“The Ministry of Information Technology, invoking it’s power under section 69A of the Information Technology Act read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009 and in view of the emergent nature of threats has decided to block 59 apps since in view of information available they are engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order,” the press release said.

India’s Minister for Electronics and Information Technology and Communications Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the step was taken for “safety, security, defence, sovereignty and integrity of India.”

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