Washington, July 02: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday applauded India’s sweeping ban on Chinese apps including TikTok, saying New Delhi was ensuring its own security.
“We welcome India’s ban on certain mobile apps” from China, Pompeo told reporters, saying the move would “boost India’s integrity and national security.”
“India’s clean app approach will boost India’s sovereignty and will also boost India’s integrity and national security, as the Indian government cell itself has stated,” he said.
India had been the top international market for TikTok, the blockbuster Chinese app popular with young people that lets users upload and share short videos.
TikTok on Tuesday denied sharing users’ data with the Chinese government after India banned the wildly popular app as ties with Beijing deteriorate sharply following a deadly border clash.
As India reportedly considered hiking tariffs and with some Chinese imports held up at ports, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government on Monday banned 59 Chinese apps including TikTok, WeChat and Weibo.
The ministry of information technology said the apps “are engaged in activities… prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”.
The move mirrored growing unease about Chinese tech firms in other countries, in particular regarding telecom giant Huawei.
TikTok, owned by China’s ByteDance, allows users to upload and share short videos and is spectacularly popular in India — its 120 million users have made it the app’s top international market.
Pompeo has been on a campaign, with limited success, to dissuade other nations from embracing Chinese telecom giant Huawei, a leader in fifth-generation internet technology.