Chinese firms operating in the United States are forced by the communist government to turn over data from users, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Newsmax TV on Monday.
Asked by "Spicer & Co." host Sean Spicer if the United States has hard evidence that apps like TikTok, WeChat and telecommunications company Huawei are spying on the United States or American businesses, Pompeo replied: "Every one of those companies has an obligation to the party, not to the nation, but to the Chinese Communist Party, that says if you want to go operate overseas you must be prepared to turn over information."
The United States is aware that the companies are being used for China's national security purposes, Pompeo said, and it is "unacceptable."
The United States has placed sanctions of Huawei, recently crimping production of smartphone chips. President Donald Trump has also threatened to ban TikTok from the United States if its U.S. division is not sold to an American buyer by September 15.
"There's too many kids out on TikTok with all their data, all their information, their location, lots of pieces of information about them that no parent wants the Chinese Communist Party to have about them in its hands," Pompeo said. "And we're going to do the right thing to protect each of those young people who are out there using Chinese software that the Chinese Communist Party is using for nefarious purposes."
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