July 7, 2020 / 11:54 PM / a month ago

Pence says U.S. to maintain 'strong stand' on TikTok

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence listens during a coronavirus response meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 29, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on Tuesday the United States would “continue to take a strong stand” regarding Chinese entities that threaten U.S. security, including potentially the social media app TikTok.

Pence made the remark in an interview with Fox News Channel a day after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States was looking at banning Chinese social media apps, including TikTok, suggesting it shared information with the Chinese government, a charge TikTok denied.

Pence, citing Washington’s tough stance against Chinese telecommunications company Huawei Technologies, said President Donald Trump had made it clear his administration would defend U.S. interests from “being compromised by the Chinese Communist Party.”

“So these entities, whether it be Huawei and perhaps even TikTok, that represent a threat to the privacy and to the security of the country, we’ll continue to take a strong stand,” Pence said.

U.S. lawmakers have raised national security concerns over TikTok’s handling of user data, saying they were worried about Chinese laws requiring domestic companies “to support and cooperate with intelligence work controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.”

The Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Justice Department are looking into allegations that the short-form video app owned by China-based ByteDance failed to live up to a 2019 agreement aimed at protecting children’s privacy, according to two people interviewed by the agencies.

Reporting by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Stephen Coates

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