A preliminary agreement between the Biden administration and TikTok may resolve U.S. security concerns about the social-media app.
- Though they are still working out the details, the White House and TikTok may have found a solution that involves TikTok updating its security practices but does not require parent company ByteDance to sell TikTok, according to The New York Times.
- The deal involves three main changes…
- requiring U.S. data to be stored on servers operated by Texas company Oracle
- monitoring of TikTok algorithms through Oracle
- creating a board of security experts to monitor server operations.
- Concerns from some U.S. officials involved in negotiations mean that the deal is yet to be finalized.
Why it’s news
Though the deal seems to be a step closer to resolving security concerns, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco and the Treasury Department, lead U.S. negotiators, are worried that the deal isn’t harsh enough on China.
Hesitation from the U.S. negotiators means that the final resolution could still be months away.
The Chinese government’s connection with TikTok has long been a point of concern for opponents of the social media platform. Now, with the revelation that hundreds of TikTok and ByteDance employees have close ties to Chinese state media, those concerns are growing.
Forbes reviewed hundreds of LinkedIn profiles of current employees of TikTok and ByteDance, the company that owns the site, finding that 300 of them were once Chinese state media employees.
Of these profiles, 23 were managing “content partnerships, public affairs, corporate social responsibility, and media cooperation.”
Fifteen of the profiles indicate that the employees are also currently employed by Chinese state media groups, several of which are identified by the State Department as extensions of the Chinese government.
Though 15 of the LinkedIn profiles showed employees working for both ByteDance and the Chinese state media, a ByteDance representative told Forbes that company policy does not allow employees to work two jobs.
Chinese influence on TikTok could be an issue in American culture. Already the app is a powerful tool in driving the focus and interests of common discourse.
In an apparent attempt to smooth things over with U.S. officials, TikTok has increased focus on hiring U.S. based employees, but high-level U.S. employees appear to be fleeing the company.