Leading lawmakers are criticizing JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon over the banking firm’s partnership with TikTok.
- The China-based social-media company TikTok has received significant criticism surrounding the app’s data collection and ties with Chinese state media.
- JP Morgan, one of the largest banks in the U.S., has been working alongside TikTok representatives to develop in-app payment technology for the video-sharing app, Forbes reports.
- Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) has been a strong critic of the partnership, pointing out that the app would have to collect sensitive user data, which could become available to Chinese state media.
- “Data, including private information belonging to Americans and other foreigners, available to ByteDance is also accessible to Beijing … It is outrageous that JPMorgan Chase would elect to join ByteDance in a partnership geared toward broadening and deepening the company’s, and as a result, the CCP’s, access to countless volumes of user data,” Rubio says.
Why it’s news
The potential dangers surrounding TikTok have been at the forefront of lawmakers’ discussions for the last several months. Several reports have indicated that TikTok’s parent company ByteDance has strong ties to Chinese state media, and other reports have raised concerns about TikTok’s data collection—revealing that employees have some access to the data.
Multiple states have banned the app on government devices, and Senator Rubio has introduced legislation that would outright ban the app in the U.S.—a step the U.S. has never taken before.
The revelation that JP Morgan is working closely with TikTok, especially concerning sensitive financial matters, has given the company’s critics another reason to advocate for banning the app.
“It is concerning enough for JPMorgan Chase to carry water for Beijing and falsely characterize ByteDance’s ‘mission [as] to inspire creativity and enrich life.’ Even more alarming, however, is that JPMorgan Chase is now actively working with ByteDance to enlarge its capacity for ‘real-time data exchange, track and trace’ and to ‘see and monitor payments’ in light of its gross abuses of user information,” Rubio said, quoting material from JP Morgan’s website.
In further statements, Rubio acknowledged that the deal with TikTok did seem like a lucrative option for JP Morgan but asked the company to consider the effects this deal would have on the American public. Rubio asked Dimon to answer questions about the JP Morgan-TikTok partnership by mid-February.
Not every official is opposed to a partnership between the companies. Former National Security Agency general counsel Glenn Gerstell shared that there could be an advantage to an American company setting up TikTok’s financial structures. An American company could give regulators insight into Chinese payment systems.