US President Donald Trump says he intends to ban Chinese-owned video app TikTok from the United States.
Mr Trump made the announcement to reporters on Air Force One as he returned from Florida.
“As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States,” Mr Trump said on Friday.
The hugely popular app has come in for similar scrutiny in Australia and its executives are due to appear at hearings of the Senate Select Committee on Foreign Interference through Social Media, which will be held in August and September.
US lawmakers have raised intelligence and privacy concerns about the company’s ownership.
The company has denied allegations that it shares user data with the Chinese government.
The move comes as Trump has ratcheted up tensions with China during the coronavirus pandemic and stalled trade negotiations between the two nations.
The company’s operations in the US has been under review by the secretive Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.
Mr Trump said he could use emergency economic powers or an executive order to enforce the action, insisting, “I have that authority.”
The app is owned by the Beijing-based firm ByteDance, and the announcement about the review drew strong remarks from the Chinese government, which accused Washington of discrimination.
TikTok allows users to create short videos – often with some basic effects and music – which have become increasingly popular.
The company has been accused of censoring pro-democracy protests from Hong Kong and videos discussing the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.
TikTok insists none of its data is housed in China, claiming the information of Australian users is held in Singapore and the United States.
The company maintains it does not share user data with Beijing.