Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urges US app stores to remove ‘untrusted’ Chinese-owned apps

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urges US app stores to remove ‘untrusted’ Chinese-owned apps

  • The call, aimed at Apple and Google, to remove the apps marks a new prong in the administration’s expanded ‘clean network’ campaign
  • Pompeo offered few details on how such efforts will be carried out, and gave no indication that the guidance was in any way binding

Washington’s top diplomat urged US app stores to remove “untrusted” Chinese-owned apps – including TikTok and messaging app WeChat – on Wednesday, amid escalating efforts by the Trump administration to counter the reach of Chinese-made technology in the United States.US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s call – aimed at Apple and Google – to remove the apps marks a new prong in the administration’s expanded “clean network” campaign, which had initially focused on pushing countries to ban Chinese vendors from 5G networks.

As part of the newly diversified effort, Pompeo said his department was also seeking to prevent US applications from being preinstalled or made available for download on mobile devices manufactured by Huawei and “other untrusted vendors”.

“We don’t want companies to be complicit in Huawei’s human rights abuses, or the [Chinese Communist Party’s] surveillance apparatus,” Pompeo told reporters in Washington, three weeks after the Trump administration announced sanctions against employees of the telecommunications giant on similar grounds.