President Donald Trump said his administration is considering banning TikTok in the U.S. This is in response to the way China handled the coronavirus, according to Bloomberg.
“What happened with China with this virus, what they’ve done to this country and to the entire world is disgraceful,” said Trump, admitting that a ban on the short-video app owned by China’s ByteDance is just one of many possible ways for the U.S. to retaliate. As a result of the pandemic, around 3 million people in the U.S. were infected, and over 130,000 died.
Trump might just have another reason to go after TikTok. Last month, under 6,200 people attended Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This is despite 1 million signups for the event reported by the campaign officials who expected around 100,000 to actually come. Apparently, a lot of people registered for the rally using fake names or burner email accounts specifically to never show up. TikTok might have been one of the several digital platforms the opposition used to carry out this viral effort.
These latest developments follow earlier allegations that TikTok poses a threat to national security as it feeds user data to Beijing. To that, TikTok repeatedly replied that the company stores data about the U.S. users in the United States, with its backup located in Singapore.
In May, several security groups claimed the app was collecting information about children under 13 without parental permission, something that U.S. Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department are now looking into.
Meanwhile, over 165 million people continue to use TikTok in the U.S.