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Pompeo: US 'certainly looking at' ban on Chinese social media apps like TikTok

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense: Trump transgender ban 'inflicts concrete harms,' study says | China objects to US admiral's Taiwan visit King of Jordan becomes first Arab leader to speak with President-elect Biden Central Asia is changing: the Biden administration should pay close attention MORE said the U.S. is “certainly” exploring a ban on Chinese social media apps such as TikTok, citing concerns the app has shared user data with the government in Beijing.

“I don’t want to get out in front of the president, but it’s something we’re looking at,” Pompeo told Fox News Monday.

Asked whether he recommended downloading TikTok, Pompeo responded: “Only if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”

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Bipartisan U.S. lawmakers have previously expressed concerns about the app in connection with Chinese laws that require the nation's firms to “to support and cooperate with intelligence work controlled by the Chinese Communist Party,” Reuters noted.

Pompeo’s comments come shortly after India banned TikTok, as well as 58 other Chinese apps, following a border skirmish between the two nations. It also comes in the wake of TikTok reportedly leaving the Hong Kong market days after an expansive new Chinese national security law that critics say erodes the city’s autonomy took effect.

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerUS national security policy in the 117th Congress and a new administration Voters say Biden should make coronavirus vaccine a priority: poll New York City subway service could be slashed 40 percent, officials warn MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonLoeffler isolating after possible COVID-19 infection More conservatives break with Trump over election claims Warnock hit by Republicans over 'cannot serve God and the military' comment MORE (R-Ark.) asked then-acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph MaguireJoseph MaguireRetired Navy admiral behind bin Laden raid says he voted for Biden Congressional Democrats request FBI briefing on foreign election interference efforts Wells Fargo told employees to delete TikTok from work phones MORE in an October letter to look into whether the app poses “national security risks.”

"Security experts have voiced concerns that China’s vague patchwork of intelligence, national security, and cybersecurity laws compel Chinese companies to support and cooperate with intelligence work controlled by the Chinese Communist Party," they wrote.

"Given these concerns, we ask that the Intelligence Community conduct an assessment of the national security risks posed by TikTok and other China-based content platforms operating in the U.S. and brief Congress on these findings,” they added.

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TikTok in a statement to The Hill denied providing any user data to Beijing.

“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," the company said.

Updated at 8:03 a.m.