US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday that the government is "certainly looking at" banning TikTok amid concerns over app's handling of users' data.
"I don't want to get out in front of the President (Donald Trump), but it's something we're looking at," Pompeo said in an interview with Fox News.
"We are taking this very seriously. We are certainly looking at it."
When asked if he would recommend people to download TikTok, Pompeo said that he would recommend that only to those individuals who are willing to share their private data with the Chinese Communist Party.
TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese firm ByteDance, has seen immense growth in recent years. The social media app allows users to share 15-second videos with quick edits, filters and music. It been downloaded over two billion times globally, and is said to have nearly 65-75 million active monthly users in the US.
But, in recent days, a large number of US lawmakers have voiced concerns over security risks associated with TikTok. Critics say they are worried that the company could share the users' content and data with the Chinese Communist Party.
Last month, India banned TikTok, along with 58 other Chinese mobile apps, saying that they were posing danger to the country. The ban came following a border clash with China on 15h June.
"This decision is a targeted move to ensure safety and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace," Indian Information Technology Ministry said in a statement.
Nikki Haley, the former US ambassador to the United Nations, welcomed the move, saying it was "good to see India ban 59 popular apps owned by Chinese firm".
The decision brought a denial from TikTok which insisted it has never provided any user data to the Chinese government, nor it would it do so in future.
The company is now trying to distance itself from its Chinese roots in efforts to appeal to a global audience.
On Monday, the firm said that it would exit the Hong Kong market within days, after China established a new security law for the semi-autonomous city.
"We have no higher priority than promoting a safe and secure app experience for our users," said TikTok.
The statement comes amid reports that TikTok iPhone app is spying on its users by secretly reading the clipboard.
Last week, security researchers claimed that TikTok iOS and iPadOS apps have unrestricted access to the system-wide general pasteboard, which means that a user's precise location may be made available to the app if they simply copy and paste a photo.
In February, Reddit co-founder and CEO Steve Huffman described TikTok as a little more than 'spyware'.
Huffman said that this popular social media app is "fundamentally parasitic" and uses "fingerprinting technology" that is "truly terrifying".
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