The Chinese-owned app TikTok is under a security review by the U.S. government, which will make a recommendation on the matter to President Donald Trump next week, according to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
Trump said Wednesday, “we are thinking about making a decision” about TikTok.
The video-sharing social media app, is extremely popular in both the US. and around the world. It has already been downloaded 2 billion times worldwide and 165 million of those downloads were in the U.S.
The app features not only entertainment videos, but also debates and takes positions on political issues, such as racial justice and the upcoming U.S. presidential election.
U.S. officials are concerned that TikTok may pose a security threat, fearing that the company might share its user data with China’s government. However, TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, has said it does not share user data with the Chinese government and maintains that it only stores U.S. user data in the U.S. and Singapore. TikTok also recently chose former Disney executive Kevin Mayer as its chief executive in a move seen as an effort to distance itself from Beijing.
Mnuchin said that the U.S. government’s Committee on Foreign Investment (CFIUS), an interagency group led by the Treasury Department, will be looking into TikTok. CFIUS’ job is to oversee foreign investments and assess them for potential national security risks.
CFIUS has the ability to force companies to cancel deals or put in place other measures it deems necessary for national security.