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Pompeo says Trump to take broad action on Chinese software

NEW YORK — President Donald Trump plans to take action on a what he sees as a broad array of national security risks presented by software connected to the Chinese Communist Party, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday.

Pompeo’s remarks followed reports that Microsoft is in advanced talks to buy the U.S. operations of TikTok, which has been a source of national security and censorship concerns for the Trump administration.

“These Chinese software companies doing business in the United States, whether it’s TikTok or WeChat — there are countless more … are feeding data directly to the Chinese Communist Party, their national security apparatus,” Pompeo said on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures.”

“Could be their facial recognition patterns. It could be information about their residence, their phone numbers, their friends, who they’re connected to. Those — those are the issues that President Trump has made clear we’re going to take care of,” he said.

TikTok’s U.S. user data is stored in the U.S., with strict controls on employee access, and its biggest investors come from the U.S., the company said Sunday. “We are committed to protecting our users’ privacy and safety as we continue working to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform,” a TikTok spokesperson said.

Trump had said on Friday that he would soon ban TikTok in the United States. A federal committee is reviewing whether that’s possible, and its members agree that TikTok cannot remain in the U.S. in its current form, because it “risks sending back information on 100 million Americans,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

“We all agree there has to be a change … everybody agrees it can’t exist as it does,” Mnuchin said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”

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