U.S.A. State Secretary Mike Pompeo called for a large expansion of U.S. government curbs on Chinese technology on Wednesday, saying it needs to see “untrusted Chinese software” removed from the Google and Apple app stores.
Pompeo ‘s proposal was considered ambiguous and possibly illegal by outside experts.
Pompeo called the popular TikTok video app and the WeChat messaging app, which people in the U.S. use to connect with others in the U.S. and China, “major threats to American citizens ‘ personal data, not to mention tools for censorship of CCP content.”
The U.S. government has already cracked down on Chinese technology firms. Of example, it has long called out telecom equipment supplier Huawei, urging allies not to use their equipment in their 5 G wireless high-speed networks, and banning U.S. telecom companies from using government funds for equipment and services from another Chinese telecom equipment company, Huawei and ZTE.
Citing national security concerns, Google has also been barred from offering its Android apps for Huawei phones such as Google Maps. Because of national security concerns, the Federal Communications Commission is considering barring operations of Chinese telecom companies China Telecom and China Unicom which provide services in the U.S.
President Donald Trump threatened to ban TikTok as well, even though the legal basis for such a move remains unclear.
“It is a trick for Publicity. Few events. It is an objective, “Professor Susan Ariel Aaronson of the University of George Washington said by email.
Eurasia Group analyst Paul Triolo said the U.S. government is trying to push its partners and businesses to avoid using Chinese equipment and software “at all levels of their communications networks, from the internet backbone to app stores.” It includes calling for companies to yank their devices from Huawei’s app store, ads that it contains apps from European and U.S. firms such as travel service Booking and Amazon.
It is unclear what legal authority the administration has to take action against apps and app stores, Triolo writes in a research note. The State Department did not immediately seek information on the legal authority which could be used by the administration to justify these measures.
The plan is intended to force countries and companies to choose sides between the United States and China, Triolo said. He expects opposition from many corporations and governments.