US President Donald Trump will take action “in the coming days” against Chinese-owned software that he believes poses a risk to national security, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.
Mr Pompeo said the popular TikTok video app was among such “data directly feeding the Chinese Communist Party.”
His comments came days after Mr. Trump said he was banning TikTok in the United States.
The company has denied accusations that it is controlled or shares data with the Chinese government.
Speaking to the Fox News Channel, Pompeo said action would be taken “with respect to a wide range of national security risks that are presented by software connected to the Chinese Communist Party.”
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He said there were “countless” companies doing business in the United States that could pass information to the Chinese government. The data could include facial recognition patterns, addresses, phone numbers and contacts, he said.
“President Trump has said ‘enough’ and we are going to fix it,” he told Fox News.
Mr Trump told reporters on Friday that he plans to sign an executive order banning TikTok in the United States, where it has up to 80 million active monthly users.
The app – mainly used by those under 20 – is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance.
Several Republican senators have backed a ByteDance plan to cede US operations.
” What is the good answer? Ask an American company like Microsoft to take over TikTok. Win-win. Keeps the competition alive and the data out of the hands of the Chinese Communist Party, ”Senator Lindsey Graham wrote on Twitter.
But a possible sale of TikTok’s U.S. operations to Microsoft has reportedly been put on hold due to Mr. Trump’s warning.
The threats of action against TikTok and other Chinese-owned software come amid heightened tensions between the Trump administration and the Chinese government over many issues, including trade disputes and Beijing’s management of the coronavirus epidemic.