After India Banned TikTok And Other Chinese Apps, US Lawmakers Urge President Trump To Follow Suit

by Swarajya Staff - Jul 16, 2020 11:39 AM +05:30 IST
After India Banned TikTok And Other Chinese Apps, US Lawmakers Urge President Trump To Follow SuitTikTok. (Pic by Toutiao via Wikimedia Commons)

Over two weeks after India banned 59 Chinese apps including popular video-sharing platform TikTok over national security concerns, a group of United States' Congress members has asked President Donald Trump to follow suit and take "strong action" against the 'Chinese Communist Party (CCP) linked' sites.

In a letter to President Trump, which has been signed by 25 US Congress members including Matt Gaetz, Steve King, Jody Hice, Ken Buck and Jim Banks, the lawmakers said that they support his administration's efforts to restrict TikTok and other CCP-linked social media sites and that these apps present a "very real threat" to the US national security.

"These popular apps's data collection practices, coupled with China's onerous cyber security laws requiring all companies operating in China, including TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, to share user data with CCP authorities, present very real threat to US national security," the US lawmakers said in the letter, reports ANI.

The lawmakers said that India banned TikTok and other Chinese apps due to national security concerns in the last week of June.

"However, the CCP's systemic campaign to collect and illicitly transmit user data for Chinese goverment's purposes is not unique to Indian consumers," they said, adding that Chinese authorities currently enjoy relatively unrestricted access to US consumer and government data throught the country's advanced data mining policies.

"Furthermore, TikTok's censorship of user content to advance the CCP's foreign policy aims is deeply concerning," the Congress members said.

The lawmakers added that leaked documents had revealed that TikTok was censoring videos that mention Tiananmen Square, Tibetan independence, or banned religious groups.

They further alleged that TikTok's parent company ByteDance is also required under the Chinese law to provide seats on company's board of directors to CCP officials.

"It is clear that United States should not trust TikTok or any other Chinese-affiliated social media website or apps to protect Americans' data, privacy, or security," the lawmakers said.

"As such, we urge you [President Trump] to take strong action to stop CCP's sophisticated espionage campaign against our country and protect our national security," the lawmakers said.

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