US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said late on Monday that the United States is "certainly looking" at banning Chinese social media apps, including TikTok.
"I don't want to get out in front of the President, but it's something we're looking at," Pompeo said in an interview with Fox News.
When asked if the Trump administration would follow the lead of the Indian authorities, who have already announced a ban on the application, Pompeo cited the current restrictions in place against several Chinese tech companies, including Huawei and ZTE.
"With respect to Chinese apps on people’s cellphones, I can assure you the United States will get this one right too,” Pompeo said.
The secretary of state was also asked if he recommended that US citizens download TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese tech firm ByteDance.
“Only if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party,” Pompeo remarked.
Last week, Pompeo said the US welcomed India's ban on 59 Chinese mobile apps, adding that it would "boost India's integrity and national security".
The Indian government on 29 June banned TikTok and 58 other Chinese applications amid rising tensions between New Delhi and Beijing after a deadly border clash. In the days that followed, leading TikTok officials, including the company’s CEO Kevin Mayer, said that Beijing had never asked to receive Indian users’ data.
The relationship between Washington and Beijing deteriorated further recently, following China's enactment of a law on national security in the special administrative region of Hong Kong. Under the 1984 Joint Declaration of the United Kingdom and China, control over Hong Kong passed to mainland China in 1997 as a special administrative unit, whose citizens would enjoy exclusive political, economic and personal freedoms until 2047 under the "one country, two systems" concept.