Chinese TikTok under US microscope, doubts deepen on karaoke videos

The Chinese video app TikTok is under the US microscope on security concerns. A government panel to check whether the popular especially for their karaoke videos app forward data to the Chinese authorities, citing unspecified sources. The responsible US Treasury did not want to comment on the report.

Previously, American parliamentarians, including Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Senate Democrat chief Chuck Schumer, had warned that TikTok could be misused by Beijing for espionage purposes. “With more than 110 million downloads in America alone, TikTok is a potential counterespionage threat that we can not ignore,” Schumer wrote last week with Republican Senator Tom Cotton in a letter to US intelligence director Joseph Maguire.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Senate Democrat chief Chuck Schumer, had warned that TikTok could be misused by Beijing for espionage purposes

The Chinese company ByteDance had bought TikTok 2017. At that time the application was called Musical.ly. Upon request, TikTok did not specifically comment on the review process in America, but affirmed that the company had “no higher priority” than “winning the trust of US users and regulators.” Last week, TikTok had asserted that it was “not influenced by any foreign approach like the Chinese government” and its data centers are not located in the People’s Republic.

The US government has classified the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei as a security risk for the country. The US accuses the company of sabotage and espionage by the Chinese government. Huawei has rejected the allegations and assured that it operates independently of the Chinese state. Until November 19, a grace period applies to American companies still working with Huawei.

TikTok is a platform for uploading mobile videos in portrait format and sharing them with friends – and around the world. The predecessor app “musical.ly” was mainly known for Lip sync videos in which users move to a recorded song only the lips and dance instead of singing themselves.

Ryan Warner
Ryan Warner
Ryan is a US based student, he is currently pursuing his Advanced Astronomy degree.

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