US republican senator for Florida, Marco Rubio, announced on October 9 that he was preparing to request the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to investigate the 2017 acquisition of the video app Musical.ly by ByteDance, the Beijing-based owner of the popular app TikTok. The US senator has based this decision on accusations of censorship on part of the Chinese company that have been circulating throughout the web.
Rubio wrote a letter to the Treasury Department calling for a review of the purchase, citing “growing evidence” that TikTok’s platform was censoring content.
“Today I will be asking CFIUS to review TikTok’s acquisition of Musical.ly. Ample & growing evidence exists that TikTok’s platform for western markets, including the U.S., are censoring content in line with China’s communist government directives,” Rubio tweeted.
In response, TikTok representatives argued that they had not received any requests from the Chinese government and that their content moderation policies were not influenced by any government entities, Chinese or foreign.