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Old 07-07-2020, 10:09 PM   #1
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TikTok: Chinese app may be banned in US, says Pompeo

By James Clayton
North America technology reporter
9 hours ago

Mike Pompeo: "It's something we're looking at"

Would you recommend downloading TikTok? Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was asked that question on Monday night on Fox News.

"Only if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party," he replied.

Asked if he would ban Chinese apps - including TikTok - he said: "I don't want to get out in front of the president, but it's something we're looking at".

That is a very worrying statement for TikTok.

The huge Chinese social media company has experienced phenomenal growth in the last three years. It's been downloaded more than two billion times.

But around the world, and not just in the US, TikTok is facing a backlash.

It's finding out the hard way that being international, a tech company, and Chinese isn't a great combination right now.

By far its largest market, India, banned TikTok last week, along with 58 other Chinese apps.

Officially security concerns were given as the reason, but that isn't the whole story.

Two weeks before, a border skirmish on India's northern frontier with China left 20 Indian soldiers dead. It's not known how many Chinese troops were killed.

The fighting was said to be gruesome, hand-to-hand combat.

Image copyrightSANJAY BAID
Image caption
Anti-China protests have grown in India in recent weeks
Thousands of miles away, Mr Pompeo said he welcomed India's move to ban the apps. They "serve as appendages of the Chinese Communist Party's surveillance state", he said.

It was a pretty extraordinary statement that flew relatively under the radar. The US government had congratulated the banning of TikTok in another country.

"Good to see India ban 59 popular apps owned by Chinese firm," tweeted Nikki Haley, the former US ambassador to the United Nations.

Much of this can be linked to Huawei, says James Sullivan, head of cyber research at British security think-tank Rusi.

"Huawei is the test case," he says. "It's probably the start of a trend in the West where sanctions will seek to squeeze, or even sink, large Chinese tech companies"

Distance from China
That has made TikTok extremely nervous, and explains its energetic and painstaking attempts to distance itself from China.

Monday saw TikTok announce it would quit Hong Kong "within days" after a new National Security Law was brought in.

The announcement came after Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp said they would not hand over data to the Hong Kong government.

This was more than a statement from TikTok though - it was a grand gesture. A clear neon-lit sign that says: "TikTok is not close to the Chinese government."

It's a strategy TikTok has been following for quite some time.

Earlier this year it hired an American chief executive, Kevin Mayer.

TikTok is also keen to play up the localised nature of the platform, highlighting its big offices in places like London and Los Angeles.

'We would not comply'
TikTok also says it would never share data with China.

On Friday, Mr Mayer wrote a letter to the Indian government.

"I can confirm that the Chinese government has never made a request to us for the TikTok data of Indian users," he said.

"If we do ever receive such a request in the future, we would not comply."

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
But it hasn't won over the doubters.

"TikTok must go and it should have been gone yesterday," tweeted one Republican congressman last week following the Indian ban. This is not an uncommon view in the party.

"It is an incredibly difficult moment for the Chinese tech companies," says Dr Yu Jie from internal relations think-tank Chatham House.

"Ultimately, all of these Chinese companies would wish to set up a foothold in the US and Europe. But they've been caught up in global geo-political rivalry."

Already the sharks are circling. Facebook is pushing its Instagram Reels feature , which lets you post fun 15-second videos, in India and elsewhere. Sound familiar?

Indian companies with similar platforms to TikTok have seen a spike in downloads since the ban.

TikTok is not Huawei. It's not building the infrastructure of 5G - it's a social media company.

But its links to China means that they are often mentioned in the same breath.

In his interview with Fox News, Mr Pompeo made the direct comparison between TikTok and Huawei.

"With respect to Chinese apps on peoples' cellphones, I can assure you the US will get this right too," he said.

James Sullivan of Rusi believes security issues need to be looked at separately to actions based on sanctioning China.

"There are technical security concerns with companies like Huawei, but they shouldn't be conflated with sanctions that are based around Chinese foreign policy decisions," he said.

Hurting China
That is India's TikTok ban in a nutshell. A decision that is officially based around security which is also designed to punish China.

It's also pretty clear that the US is looking to hurt China too, and focusing on its tech sector could be a lever it decides to pull.

Chinese companies like Tencent - one of the world's largest gaming companies - and Alibaba will also be worried.

But it's TikTok that is now fighting for its life. Frozen out of its biggest market, India, it now faces the prospect of losing the US - another huge market for the company.

And hostility is picking up in other countries too. In Australia on Monday, the deputy chairman of the foreign Interference through social media inquiry, said TikTok might be "a data collection service disguised as social media".

"We have no higher priority than promoting a safe and secure app experience for our users. We have never provided user data to the Chinese government, nor would we do so if asked," TikTok said in a statement to Reuters news agency.

TikTok may be designed for fun and laughter, but there are politicians who are deadly serious about banning the app. As long as China and the West's relationship remains frosty, that's unlikely to change.
https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-53319955

Last edited by Calderyon; 07-07-2020 at 10:10 PM.
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Old 07-07-2020, 10:18 PM   #2
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Old 07-07-2020, 10:31 PM   #3
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Trump is mad he got trolled by TikTok teens so I’m not surprised
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Old 07-07-2020, 10:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liam- View Post
Trump is mad he got trolled by TikTok teens so Iím not surprised
Republicans and Democrats are on the same page on this one...national security comes first for both parties and all future presidents.


Even uncle kanye.
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Old 07-07-2020, 10:36 PM   #5
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Tik tok is a haven for animal cruelty videos ,Ide be happy for it to be banned, some morons think they are funny

https://www.medicaldaily.com/tiktok-...l-abuse-450103
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Old 07-07-2020, 11:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kazanne View Post
Tik tok is a haven for animal cruelty videos ,Ide be happy for it to be banned, some morons think they are funny
Yes let's punish everyone for the actions of a few
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Old 07-07-2020, 11:24 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Kazanne View Post
Tik tok is a haven for animal cruelty videos ,Ide be happy for it to be banned, some morons think they are funny
If you're banning websites, apps, devices, services for misuse by a few morons then there's not much left, if anything at all.
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Old 07-07-2020, 11:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kazanne View Post
Tik tok is a haven for animal cruelty videos ,Ide be happy for it to be banned, some morons think they are funny
So does YouTube sometimes so I say ban the people and fined them not the site.
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Old 08-07-2020, 04:10 AM   #9
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The app is basically malware, from what I've heard.
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Old 08-07-2020, 04:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liam- View Post
Trump is mad he got trolled by TikTok teens so Iím not surprised
Tbf it is a sensible decision to weaken China's stronghold on the Economy to some extent as they've been getting too cocky lately.

And personally I wouldn't put anything past the Chinese Government.
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Old 08-07-2020, 08:16 AM   #11
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Good

Idc to find out why it's getting banned, just ban it
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Old 08-07-2020, 08:22 AM   #12
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They should ban it in the UK as well
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Old 08-07-2020, 09:17 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry. View Post
So does YouTube sometimes so I say ban the people and fined them not the site.
Yes that's a better idea tbh,
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Old 08-07-2020, 09:19 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Yes let's punish everyone for the actions of a few
Well Im more concerned about the animals than people getting their jollies off by abuse, ,but Barry has the best idea ,fine the people and ban them, same for all other sites.
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Old 08-07-2020, 09:33 AM   #15
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They should ban it in the UK as well
they shouldn't ban it at all, this PC world becomes way more stupid by the day
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Old 08-07-2020, 10:06 AM   #16
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they shouldn't ban it at all, this PC world becomes way more stupid by the day
What is "PC" about it? Do you even know what the term means?
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Old 08-07-2020, 10:11 AM   #17
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Quote:
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What is "PC" about it? Do you even know what the term means?
yes taking away freedom of speech falls under that PC either


just sharpen the rules and not allowing any ''animal cruelty'' content anymore, but keep the platform for those who can use it for fun purposes
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Old 08-07-2020, 10:14 AM   #18
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Tik Tok
has had to leave Hong Kong
not wanting to upset China etc.
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Old 08-07-2020, 10:17 AM   #19
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yes taking away freedom of speech falls under that PC either


just sharpen the rules and not allowing any ''animal cruelty'' content anymore, but keep the platform for those who can use it for fun purposes
Erm... it doesn't have anything to do with animal cruelty.

Even if it did, animal cruelty is not free speech wtf.
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Old 08-07-2020, 11:40 AM   #20
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correct Marsh, but do you understand my point otherwise?

if they put a rule like, only appropriate fun content, more stricter rules on usage of that platform, i don't see a problem with it

given how other social media's already are doing so, like Facebook gonna remove loads more hate content now, same how twitter has stricter rules than before too
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Old 08-07-2020, 11:46 AM   #21
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correct Marsh, but do you understand my point otherwise?

if they put a rule like, only appropriate fun content, more stricter rules on usage of that platform, i don't see a problem with it

given how other social media's already are doing so, like Facebook gonna remove loads more hate content now, same how twitter has stricter rules than before too
From what I understand the content of the app is not the issue.
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Old 08-07-2020, 12:02 PM   #22
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India already banned TikTok before along with 59 of other apps owned by a Chinese based company:
https://techcrunch.com/2020/06/29/in...-chinese-apps/

Last edited by Calderyon; 08-07-2020 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 08-07-2020, 12:03 PM   #23
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This would be devastating to Arista's eboy career.
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Old 08-07-2020, 01:04 PM   #24
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TikTok officials themselves say they never shared any private information with chinese government


TikTok's intentions are for fun and laughter only
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Old 08-07-2020, 01:17 PM   #25
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I remember reading that someone had reversed engineered the app and it was filled with **** to track everything on your phone.

It's quite naive and gullible to believe that a chinese owned property is not being compelled by the government to share it's data with them.

TikTok should be banned.
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