Exclusive: The U.S. opens national security investigation into TikTok – sources
U.S. Opens National Security Investigation on TikTok:
The widely popular tiktok has been in the news several times. Recently, the U.S. to investigate Tiktok over the National Security Concerns.
The U.S. government has launched a national security review on TikTok owner’s Beijing ByteDance’s $1 Billion Acquisition. This Acquisition is on social media app Musical.ly.
This $1 billion acquisition was completed two years ago itself. Still, U.S. lawmakers have been calling in recent weeks for National Investigation over the Tiktok, mainly due to concerns that chines companies may be censoring “Sensitive political content,” and it raises questions over how it stores the personal data.
At present, Tiktok is growing insanely among U.S. teenagers at the same time; we can see increasing tensions between the USA and China over trade and technology transfer as well. Now, about 60% of Tiktok’s 26.5 million monthly active users are coming from the USA. Most percentage of the audience from the USA false in between the ages of 15 to 24 – according to the company’s statistics, which were released earlier this year.
Now, the CFIUS ( Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States), which reviews the deals by foreign acquirers for National Security risks, has started to review Musical.ly Deal. This national security review was mainly taking place because ” Tiktok hasn’t got clearance from CFIUS when it acquired Musical.ly. ”
This gives the U.S. security panel scope to investigate the threat issues now. Presently, CFIUS is in talks with Tiktok about the measures it could take to avoid divesting Musical.ly assets, which are acquired by TikTok.
The sources which have said this to Reuters have requested anonymity as its confidential.
Tiktok Spokesperson said that ” They cannot comment on ongoing regulatory processes. But tiktok has made clear that they have no higher priority than earning users and regulators trust in the U.S. They said they are committed to working Congress.
ByteDance & U.S. Treasury Department didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.
Last week, U.S. Senate Minority Leader ” Chuck Schumer & Senator Tom Cotton,” Asked National security Probe. They stated that they are concerned about Tiktok’s platform where they collect users’ data and say whether China censors content seen by U.S. users. They even suggested They also suggested foreign influence campaigns could target TikTok.
Schumer wroth to Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Macguire that ” With over 110 million downloads in the U.S. alone, Tiktok is a potential counterintelligence threat which cannot be ignored.”
Tiktok usually allows users to create short videos with special effects and share them. This company has officially said U.S. user data would be stored in the United States, but the senators mainly noted that Chinese laws govern ByteDance ” firm which owns tiktok.” Lastly, Tiktok Also said that China does not have any control over the content of the app, and it does not operate in China, and any foreign Government won’t influence it.
Even after all these statements, Musical.ly founder Alex Zhu, who heads the team of Tiktok, has directly reported to ByteDance CEO Zhang yiming.
This has raised some questions for lots of U.S. officials. So, in Oct, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio has asked CFIUS to review ByteDance’s Acquisition.
Recently, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has criticized tiktok over censorship concerns as well. Along with him, lots of U.S. officials has states that lots of U.S. military personnel information might also be in threat.
Byte Dance’s Rise:
ByteDance is china’s fastest-growing startup. This owns the Tiktok and country’s leading news Aggregator, jinri Toutiao. ByteDance has also had Japanese technology Gaint SoftBank venture firm and many more under its belt.
Lots of analysts have said, ByteDance is a substantial threat to Chinese tech industry firms. Globally, ByteDance apps have 1.5 billion active users monthly and 700 million daily active users, according to the Companies July Stats. This seven-year-old Chinese startup has significant revenue for the first half of 2019 at over $7 billion, and it was valued at $78 billion last year, according to Reuters.