Thursday 25 April 2024

TikTok Rages After U.S. Passes Law Requiring Its Sale From Chinese Parent Company

 TikTok CEO Shou Chew vowed on Wednesday that the company would fight the U.S.’s new law requiring it to be sold from its Chinese-government-controlled parent company, ByteDance, or else face being banned in the U.S.

In a video posted to the platform, Chew claimed that the law would “take TikTok away from you and 170 million Americans who find community in connection on our platform.”

“Make no mistake, this is a ban, a ban on TikTok, and a ban on you and your voice,” he continued. “Politicians may say otherwise, but don’t get confused.”

“Rest assured, we aren’t going anywhere,” he added. “We are confident and we will keep fighting for your rights in the courts.”

Chew later claimed that the company has “built safeguards that no other peer company has made” and that it “invested billions of dollars to secure your data and keep our platform free from outside manipulation.”

His claims come after reports surfaced earlier this month of a former senior employee at the company who says that he was forced to send American user data to ByteDance in Beijing, contradicting the company’s contention that it operates independently from China.

FBI Director Christopher Wray recently testified to Congress: “This is a tool that is ultimately within the control of the Chinese government.”

Former ByteDance executive Yintao Yu made explosive allegations against the company in a federal lawsuit last year, saying that ByteDance’s offices in Beijing had a special unit of Chinese Communist Party members who “guided how the company advanced core Communist values.”

“The Committee maintained supreme access to all the company data, even data stored in the United States,” said Yu, who spent part of his time at the company in its Chinese offices. He said it did not matter where users were located because the company created a “backdoor” to access their information.


He said the company “systematically created fabricated users” to boost engagement numbers and witnessed engineers manually alter the algorithm to achieve the country’s geopolitical agenda. One example he cited was how engineers boosted content “that expressed hatred for Japan,” The New York Times reported.

“There was no debate,” he said. “They just did it.”

ABC News reported last year that cybersecurity experts discovered that for those who have downloaded the app but never used it, TikTok “still has your data even if you’ve never used TikTok.”

The report added, “And it’s collecting and transferring that data whether or not the app is deleted.”

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