Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has come out against social media video-sharing app TikTok, saying in a CNBC interview on Monday (Aug. 10) that President Trump has decided it cannot be allowed to go on as it has been.
The development comes after the Trump administration's recent concerns over the app, which officials say is collecting data on Americans on a large scale, Reuters reported.
Mnuchin says the Treasury has the tools it needs to remedy the situation, The New York Times reports, though this is not clarified in the piece.
Mnuchin did not comment on the negotiations with Microsoft to potentially purchase TikTok.
Trump's comments against the popular video-sharing app have drawn headlines over the last week, as he's said to be planning a way to ban the app from operating in the U.S., PYMNTS reports. He's already said U.S. businesses can't do business with parent company ByteDance as of Sept. 15.
TikTok's popularity increased substantially during the pandemic. During quarantine, many more young people flocked to the app as a means of entertainment. But then came the scrutiny from governments and bans — the European Union announced an investigation, and India banned the app along with other China-based apps over data sovereignty concerns.
Trump's concerns, over data protection and security, came after that.
But TikTok is planning retaliation in the form of a lawsuit. The company plans to file a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, the company's U.S. base of operations, possibly this week. ByteDance is planning to argue that the Trump administration's ban didn't give the company a chance to make its own case. And, ByteDance says, the allegations are vague and unsubstantiated.
The White House, in return, has put forth that it is committed to protecting U.S. citizens from foreign security threats.