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  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (L) and President Donald Trump (R) at the White House, Washington DC, U.S., August 2, 2020.

    Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (L) and President Donald Trump (R) at the White House, Washington DC, U.S., August 2, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 3 August 2020
Opinion

Washington claims the app could be feeding sensitive data directly to China's Communist Party.

The U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Sunday declared that the Chinese video-sharing app TikTok must either be sold or blocked in the U.S. due to national security concerns.

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US Launches A National Security Investigation Into TikTok

In an interview with ABC News, he pointed out that the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment is reviewing the app, under the suspicion that it could be a tool for Chinese intelligence.

"I will say publicly that the entire Committee agrees that TikTok cannot stay in the current format because it risks sending back information on 100 million Americans," he declared.

"We agree there needs to be a change. Force a sale or block the app. Everybody agrees it can't exist as it does."

Mnuchin's statement came hours after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that President Donald Trump "will take action in the coming days" on Chinese apps.

He told FOX News that he hopes citizens to recognize Chinese software companies doing business in the U.S. as a source of national security risks.

"These Chinese software companies... are feeding data directly to the Chinese Communist Party, their national security apparatus," Pompeo said and explained that those data could be about facial patterns, residence, phone numbers, or friends.

Also, Microsoft revealed that after a conversation between its Executive Director Satya Nadella and Trump the company is planning an attempt to purchase the Chinese app. 

“Microsoft fully appreciates the importance of addressing the President’s concerns. It is committed to acquiring TikTok subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the country, including the U.S. Treasury,” Microsoft stated.

However, TikTok Manager for the U.S. Vanessa Pappas rejected the espionage allegations and assured that her company is committed to offering “the safest” app.

"We're not planning on going anywhere," she said.

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