Tick tock, tick tock. That's the sound of a clock ticking off the time that popular short-form video app TikTok might have left in the U.S. On Monday Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the U.S. government was looking at banning the Chinese-owned app along with Chinese-based tech firms. CNBC reports that rising tension between the United States and China is the reason why the current administration is looking to kick TikTok out of the U.S. as it did with Huawei. The latter is currently the largest smartphone manufacturer in the world and also is the global leader in supplying networking equipment to carriers.
Speaking with Fox News, Secretary Pompeo said about the ban, "We are taking this very seriously. We are certainly looking at it. We have worked on this very issue for a long time." He added, "Whether it was the problems of having Huawei technology in your infrastructure we've gone all over the world and we’re making real progress getting that out. We declared ZTE a danger to American national security. With respect to Chinese apps on peoples' cellphones, the United States will get this one right too."
TikTok has been one of the most popular apps in the U.S. always among the most installed apps on iOS and Android every month. The app has more than 2 billion installations globally. The pandemic has caused it to become even more popular as kids stuck at home looking for things to do create short videos using the app. If TikTok does get banned from the U.S., Wall Street has already selected the domestic social-media app that it believes will replace TikTok in popularity.
Shares of Snap, parent company of Snapchat, rose 8% on Tuesday after word spread about Pompeo's comments. On Tuesday morning, the sales team belonging to securities house Morgan Stanley said that if TikTok is forced to shut down, both Snapchat and Facebook will benefit.
TikTok has been trying to stay distant from its Chinese parent ByteDance. Like Huawei and ZTE before it, TikTok has caught the attention of U.S. agencies concerned that it is spying on Americans and sending personal data to Beijing. Earlier this year TikTok hired former Disney executive Kevin Mayer to be CEO in an attempt to cover itself with the American flag.