The US government is assessing the national security risk of ByteDance – the Chinese company behind TikTok.
Two years after TikTok (formerly Musical.ly) was acquired by ByteDance for one billion dollars, the US government decided to open an investigation regarding censorship of content and storage of personal information. of this application.
TikTok’s coverage in the US is expanding with 26.5 million active users each month, of which users aged 16-24 account for 60%.
According to Reuters , the Committee for Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has recently reviewed ByteDance’s acquisition of TikTok (Musical.ly), but all information remains confidential.
“Our top priority is to gain trust from our users and the US legislatures. We are committed to always working with Congress to do that,” TikTok spokesman said.
Last week, a number of Senators submitted applications to the National Counterterrorism Center Joseph Macguire, asking to investigate TikTok because of concerns that the content appearing in this application is censored by China.
Although ByteDance asserts that TikTok user data in the US is stored in the United States, Senators believe that the application is still governed by Chinese law.
In October, Senator Marco Rubio wondered why TikTok had only a few videos of the Hong Kong protest, a topic that had been of interest to the world for months. On Twitter, he also wrote: “Every platform owned by a Chinese company that collects US user data is a serious threat to the country.”
Even Mark Zuckerberg , the Facebook CEO, publicly criticized TikTok for his content censorship issues in the United States.
The company that owns TikTok, ByteDance is one of the fastest growing startups in China. According to statistics in July, ByteDance products have 1.5 billion active monthly users worldwide and 700 million daily users. In the first half of 2019, ByteDance’s revenue reached US $ 7 billion , the company value by the end of last year was US $ 78 billion .
However, US lawmakers have always considered ByteDance a national security threat alongside giants like Tencent or Baidu.