LA Tech Updates: Snap Stocks Surge After U.S. Threatens to Ban TikTok

Tami Abdollah

Tami Abdollah was dot.LA's senior technology reporter. She was previously a national security and cybersecurity reporter for The Associated Press in Washington, D.C. She's been a reporter for the AP in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times and for L.A.'s NPR affiliate KPCC. Abdollah spent nearly a year in Iraq as a U.S. government contractor. A native Angeleno, she's traveled the world on $5 a day, taught trad climbing safety classes and is an avid mountaineer. Follow her on Twitter.

LA Tech Updates: Snap Stocks Surge After U.S. Threatens to Ban TikTok
Photo by Kon Karampelas on Unsplash

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Today:

  • Snap Stock Closes 6% Up After Pompeo's TikTok Threat
  • Could the U.S. Ban China-Based TikTok?

    Snap Stock Closes 6% Up After Pompeo's TikTok Threat

    silver iPhone 6 on top of yellow wooden surface Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

    Snap stock closed nearly 6% up on Tuesday after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. government is "looking at" a ban on Chinese social media apps, including TikTok, because of security concerns.

    Snap didn't respond to a request for comment. TikTok said in a statement that it's a company that's led by an American CEO, with hundreds of employees and "key leaders" in safety, security, product and public policy in the U.S.

    "We have no higher priority than promoting a safe and secure app experience for our users," the statement said. "We have never provided user data to the Chinese government, nor would we do so if asked."

    Could the U.S. Ban Chinese-Owned TikTok?

    The Trump Administration is "looking at" banning TikTok, the popular social media app owned by Chinese internet giant ByteDance, over concerns that information is being shared with Beijing.

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News Monday that the United States is considering whether to restrict TikTok and other social media apps after India banned its use.

    "We are taking this very seriously and we are certainly looking at it," Pompeo said. "With respect to Chinese apps on people's cell phones, I can assure you the United States will get this one right too...I don't want to get out in front of the president, but it's something we're looking at."

    Pompeo warned American users that downloading the app would leave their private information "in the hands of the Chinese communist party."

    Culver City-based TikTok, has around 30 million active users in the U.S. and is owned by Beijing-based technology firm ByteDance Ltd. The social media app has received much scrutiny from the national security community. It's no longer allowed on Australian Defense Department devices following a similar ban by the Pentagon due to national security concerns surrounding China's potential access to data.

    At the end of June, India joined the ranks of those banning TikTok, restricting it and other Chinese social media apps due to security concerns.

    ByteDance has said that all U.S. user data is stored in the United States and Singapore, not on Chinese servers.

    Meanwhile, the New York Times reported, TikTok is withdrawing its app from Hong Kong stores and making it inoperable there after the government began using broad new security laws aimed at blocking opposition to the communist party in the former British colony.

    Facebook, Twitter and Google stopped processing Hong Kong's request for user data, according to the report, a move that could hurt their ad revenue.

    TikTok isn't available in mainland China and the company has said that executives outside China run operations.

    ___

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    Kristin Snyder

    Kristin Snyder is an editorial intern for dot.la. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

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    Photo by Venti Views on Unsplash

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