The U.S. State Department said Wednesday that it will take steps to safeguard American citizens' privacy and intellectual property from what it views as China's potential intrusions in a wide range of areas including mobile apps, cloud services and undersea cables.

Calling China-owned apps like TikTok and WeChat "significant threats" to the personal data of American citizens and tools for content censorship by Beijing, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at a press conference, "We want to see untrusted Chinese apps removed from U.S. app stores."

The U.S. government will also work to prevent valuable business information, including research on a coronavirus vaccine, from being accessed on cloud-based systems linked to companies such as Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and internet search provider Baidu Inc.

Undersea cables connecting the United States to the global internet will be made secure, while untrusted Chinese carriers will be excluded from U.S. telecommunications networks, among other steps, Pompeo said, calling the comprehensive approach the "Clean Network" program.

"Momentum for the Clean Network program is growing...The United States calls on our allies and partners in government and industry around the world to join the growing tide to secure our data from the CCP's surveillance state and other malign entities," Pompeo said in a statement, referring to the Chinese Communist Party by its acronym.

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