Trump to Act on Chinese Software Companies in Coming Days, Pompeo Says

August 2, 2020 Updated: August 2, 2020

WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump will take action shortly on Chinese software companies that are feeding data directly to the Beijing government and posing a risk to U.S. national security, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Aug. 2.

“President Trump has said ‘enough’ and we’re going to fix it and so he will take action in the coming days with respect to a broad array of national security risks that are presented by software connected to the Chinese Communist Party,” Pompeo said on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures.”

The news comes after Trump told reporters onboard Air Force One on Friday that he would issue an order for social media platform TikTok to be banned in the United States.

Over the last several months, U.S. officials have repeatedly said TikTok under its current Chinese parent company, Beijing-based software firm ByteDance, poses a national risk because of the personal data it handles.

“They’re true privacy issues for the American people and for a long time, a long time the United States just said ‘well goodness, if we’re having fun with it, or if a company can make money off of it, we’re going to permit that to happen,'” Pompeo said.

Cyber experts have warned that the app acts as spyware for the Chinese regime. The company has denied these claims and sought to distance itself from its Beijing owner, pointing to its American board members and new chief executive. It says its servers are located in the United States and Singapore, and that it would not share user data with the Chinese regime if requested.

In a separate interview on Sunday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which reviews the national security implications of foreign business deals, is looking into the matter.

On July 29, Mnuchin said that TikTok was under CFIUS review and that the agency would make a recommendation to Trump this week.

By Doina Chiacu