Donald Trump has warned the press that he is looking to ban TikTok in the United States.
The app was banned in India earlier this year over privacy concerns and similar reasoning coupled with Trump’s open disdain for China due to the COVID-19 pandemic makes sanctions on the Chinese owned social media platform likely.
According to the New York Times, Trump said, “We’re looking at TikTok, we may be banning TikTok. We may be doing some other things. There’s a couple of options. But a lot of things are happening, so we’ll see what happens. But we are looking at a lot of alternatives with respect to TikTok.”
TikTok is a product of Chinese owned parent company ByteDance and in order to keep themselves available in one of their biggest markets outside of their home country, TikTok is actively looking for a new business home.
The American government worries that TikTok is being used as a tool to collect private information on Americans.
Earlier this month, when asked whether people should download TikTok, the American Secretary of State said, “Only if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”
National security reviews have been opened into the practices of TikTok by the Trump administration however, a spokesperson for the social media platform denied that there are any privacy concerns to worry about.
TikTok said, “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”.
They also said that all user data “is stored in the US, with strict controls on employee access.”
This new controversy for the app comes after criticism over the handling of Black Lives Matter content on the platform. Users accused TikTok of banning hashtags related to the BLM movement or the promotion of racial equality.