How the Trump administration could ‘ban’ TikTok

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

The Trump administration is apparently considering a ban on Chinese social media apps, including the popular video app TikTok. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo mentioned the possibility on Tuesday, saying it was “something we’re looking at” in a Fox News interview with Laura Ingraham.

Pompeo offered few specifics, and the comment could easily have been bluster. But he also compared TikTok to Huawei and ZTE, two companies that have suffered very real consequences after drawing US government ire. With tension rising between the US and China, Trump trying to ban TikTok isn’t out of the question — and while it’s not nearly as simple as Pompeo and Ingraham make it sound, it could still cause trouble for the company and its users.

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