US President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign featured Facebook (FB.O) ads this weekend claiming that the Chinese-owned TikTok short video app is spying on users. The ads link to the survey asking if TikTok, owned by Beijing-based tech giant ByteDance, should be banned in the United States. They also ask for the names and contact information of the respondents.
In Washington, TikTok faces scrutiny over concerns that China could compel the company to relay its user data. Earlier this month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States was “certainly looking at” banning Chinese social media apps, including TikTok. In June, India outlawed TikTok and other Chinese devices.
Last month, when Apple (AAPL.O) released a test version of its iOS operating system to developers with new privacy features, developers revealed photos of TikTok ‘s app triggering alerts that it was copying data from user clipboards, where data is stored temporarily when copying and pasting from one app to another. TikTok also hit Facebook to run the ads. “Facebook is taking money for a political ad that attacks a competitor just as it is preparing to launch a TikTok copycat,” the spokeswoman told Reuters in an email.