After being accused of mishandling American user data and censoring content shown on the video-sharing app, TikTok released a statement on October 25 refuting the claims.
The popular short-video app, owned by Beijing-based tech giant Bytedance, is attracting growing scrutiny in overseas markets for content censorship and data protection procedures.The scrutiny is part of a wider dispute over perceived national security risks posed by Chinese tech.
On October 23, two US senators requested American intelligence officials to investigate TikTok for potential national security threats.They urged investigators to look into the issue of TikTok’s collection of users’ sensitive personal information and to examine whether the app censors content deemed politically sensitive in China.
“With over 110 million downloads in the US alone, TikTok is a potential counterintelligence threat we cannot ignore,” the letter read.
TikTok has repeatedly refuted the accusations and stated that their data was not subject to Chinese law.
“Let us be very clear: TikTok does not remove content based on sensitivities related to China. We have never been asked by the Chinese government to remove any content and we would not do so if asked,” the company said in a statement.
TikTok also pointed out that it has a dedicated technical team focused on adhering to robust cybersecurity policies, data privacy, and security practices.
“We are not influenced by any foreign government, including the Chinese government; TikTok does not operate in China, nor do we have any intention of doing so in the future,” TikTok stated.