TikTok’s days in the US could be numbered, according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
In an interview with Fox News, Pompeo said the Trump Administration is considering banning the popular Chinese social media app due to security and privacy concerns.
“I don’t want to get out in front of the President, but it’s something we’re looking at,” Pompeo told Fox News on Monday night. He added that Americans should only download the app “if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”
The video sharing platform is estimated to have upwards of 65 million active users in the US and consistently ranks as among the most downloaded apps on Apple’s App Store. However, US government officials have expressed concern over the amount of data collected by TikTok compared to other prominent social media platforms, especially given that TikTok is owned by a Chinese company. In late 2019, the US military banned its personnel from using the app on government-issued devices.
As the coronavirus pandemic has worsened tensions between the US and China, there have been renewed calls by some US officials to limit the availability of Chinese apps including TikTok. One would assume that Trump himself also didn’t take kindly to TikTok users sabotaging his recent rally in Tulsa.
If the Trump Administration were to follow through with its threat to ban TikTok, it would have major implications for the music industry. In recent months, TikTok has emerged as fertile grounds for music discovery, with artists such as Lil Nas X, Ashnikko, and Benee owing their initial fame to the platform. Given its massive, predominately younger-skewing audience, established musicians such as Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Lizzo, and even Prince’s estate have also sought to cultivate their own TikTok followings. All the while, major labels have zeroed in on TikTok as a lucrative money-making opportunity and recently secured licensing deals.
TikTok has already been banned in India, while government officials in Australia are threatening to take similar measures, citing security concerns.
This is a developing story…