Popular short video sharing app TikTok seems to be facing fire from every nook and corner. First, India banned the app then rumours about the US considering the same have also been doing the rounds. Now, adding credence to those rumours US president’s advisor Peter Navarro has come out hard on Chinese apps, including TikTok. According to a report by CNBC, Navarro in an interview with Fox Business, said that hiring an American CEO was “not going to work.” For the uninitiated, TikTok appointed Kevin Mayer, who was earlier with Disney+, as their new CEO on June 1. Navarro said that Mayer was a “Chinese puppet” and TikTok’s attempt to be an “American company” is not going to help the US.
He further said the Chinese apps were gathering data on US citizens “What the American people have to understand is all the data that goes into those mobile apps that kids have so much fun with and seem so convenient, it goes right to servers in China, right to the Chinese military, the Chinese Communist Party, and the agencies that want to steal our intellectual property,” he said in the interview to Fox Business.
Navarro also targeted another popular Chinese app — WeChat — and said that these apps are the biggest forms of censorship. “Those apps can be used to steal personal and financial information for blackmail and extortion, they can be used to steal business intellectual property and proprietary secrets,” he further said.
A TikTok spokesperson told CNBC that, “TikTok is enjoyed by users throughout the world, but the app is not even available in China. As we have said repeatedly, we have never shared TikTok user data with the Chinese government, and would not do so if asked. Period.”
He also had an indirect ominous warning for Chinese apps when he said that “TikTok, WeChat, I suspect the president is just getting started with those two.” While it doesn’t mention what Trump might do but gives an indication that banning of Chinese apps in the US may just be imminent.