U.S. cannot be the last nation to ban Chinese app TikTok, says Republican presidential aspirant Nikki Haley

Describing Chinese-owned app TikTok as dangerous, Republican presidential aspirant Nikki Haley has said the U.S. cannot be the last nation to ban it

February 19, 2024 11:41 am | Updated 11:55 am IST

The former South Carolina governor also said that Russia is not a friend of the United States including urging the ban of TikTok. [File]

The former South Carolina governor also said that Russia is not a friend of the United States including urging the ban of TikTok. [File] | Photo Credit: AP

Describing Chinese-owned app TikTok as dangerous, U.S. Republican presidential aspirant Nikki Haley has said that when countries like India and Nepal have banned this social media platform, the U.S. cannot be the last nation to do the same.

Haley, the Indian-American former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, said during a Fox News town hall that China was controlling the app.

“If you want to know how it affects you, just imagine by having that app on your phone, China can now see your finances, they can now see who your contacts are. They can see what you click on, why you click on it and how it affects you. They can impact what you see. And they can impact what you hear. That is the dangerous part of TikTok,” Haley, 52, said on Sunday.

“And India has banned it. You had Nepal just banned it because it was causing social disruption. America can't be the last country to ban TikTok. Let's end it now and stop it so it doesn't hurt our children any further,” Haley said in response to a question.

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Several US lawmakers have accused TikTok, and other social media platforms, of spreading content online that has been harmful to children’s mental health and failing to protect kids online.

The app remains essential to younger people, including of those of voting age in the U.S. According to Pew Research data released in late 2023, about a third of 18-29 year-olds in the U.S. said they regularly get news on TikTok, a higher share than ever before.

The former South Carolina governor also said that Russia is not a friend of the United States.

“If (Russian President Vladimir) Putin's mouth is open, he is lying, and we need to be aware of that. I think that's why it was so damaging when Trump said that he would choose Putin and actually encourage Putin to invade NATO allies instead of standing with our allies that stood with us at 9/11,” she said.

Haley said she would pardon Trump if she is elected as the president.

“If you're talking about pardoning Trump, it's not a matter of innocence or guilt at that point because that means he would have already been found guilty. I believe in the best interest of bringing the country together, I would pardon Donald Trump. Because I think it's important for the country to move on,” she said.

“We've got to leave the negativity and the baggage behind. I don't want this country divided any further. I don't think it's in the best interests of America to have an 80-year-old president sitting in jail and having everybody upset about it. I think this would be the time that we would need to move forward and get this out of the way,” Haley said.

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