White House trade adviser Peter Navarro dubbed TikTok’s new CEO Kevin Mayer, an”American Idol” for working in the Chinese-owned social networking program.
In a meeting with Fox Business on Sunday, Navarro also doubled down to accusations that Chinese programs are collecting info on Americans and handing over to Beijing.
TikTok has been at the crosshairs of Washington for a few months. However, stress on TikTok, which is possessed by Beijing-based Bytedance, climbed a week when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo explained the authorities is “considering” banning the viral program.
The Trump administration asserts that TikTok along with other Chinese programs gather a lot of information from American users and ship it back to China, accusations replicated by Navarro.
“What the American individuals must know is all of the information that goes into these mobile programs that children have as much fun together and look convenient, it goes directly to servers in China, directly to the Chinese army, the Chinese Communist Party, along with the agencies looking to steal our intellectual property,” Navarro told Fox.
“Those programs may be used to steal financial and personal advice for blackmail and extortion, they are sometimes used to steal company intellectual property and proprietary secrets”
Navarro also said WeChat, China’s biggest messaging program that’s possessed by tech giant Tencent.
“TikTok and WeChat would be the largest types of censorship on the Chinese mainland, so anticipate strong action on this,” he explained.
TikTok doesn’t function within mainland China. Rather, ByteDance runs an identical product named Douyin.
After mentioning India banned many Chinese programs, Navarro stated: “TikTok, WeChat guess that the president is simply getting started with these two,” without elaborating if that meant a ban was forthcoming.
In reaction to Navarro’s remarks, a TikTok spokesperson stated protecting the privacy of its customers’ information is a”critical priority”
“Our Chief Information Security Officer has years of business and US law enforcement expertise.
“TikTok is appreciated by consumers around the world, however, the program isn’t available in China. As we’ve stated repeatedly, we’ve never shared TikTok user information with the Chinese authorities, and wouldn’t do so if requested. Period.”
TikTok has faced accusations of censorship previously but has denied that it eliminates”content according to sensitivities about China or other authorities.” About privacy, TikTok has said that U.S. user information is saved in the USA, using a copy in Singapore. The program also said it’s”never supplied user information to the Chinese authorities” nor will it do this if requested.
Services working on the mainland, such as WeChat, regularly prohibit messages and posts which are deemed sensitive to the Chinese authorities.
TikTok has been attempting to distance itself from the Chinese parent firm.
His priority has been viewed as rebuilding confidence with regulators.
However, Navarro criticized that the hire, calling Mayer that an”American Idol” and stating that the plan of placing a U.S. citizen accountable is”not likely to do the job.”
TikTok wasn’t immediately available for comment specifically about the opinions regarding Mayer.
The White House commerce adviser also stated that any plans to spin off TikTok to an American firm wouldn’t be valuable to the U.S.
“If TikTok, if it divides as an American firm, that doesn’t help us since… we are going to get to devote China billions of dollars for the privilege of owning TikTok run on U.S. soil,” Navarro said.