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At least 300 TikTok employees worked for Chinese state media: report

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A brand new report discovered some overlap between a whole bunch of workers at TikTok’s parent company ByteDance and Chinese language state media retailers. 

Forbes surveyed a whole bunch of LinkedIn profiles for the tech agency’s workers, discovering at the very least 300 staff had beforehand held positions in Chinese language state media – and 15 of them at the moment work for each. 

“Fifteen point out that present ByteDance workers are additionally concurrently employed by Chinese language state media entities, together with Xinhua Information Company, China Radio Worldwide and China Central/China World Tv,” the report mentioned. The U.S. State division has labeled these group as “overseas authorities functionaries.” 

TikTok has come beneath elevated scrutiny as U.S. officers proceed to warn of the nationwide safety menace the app poses: FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr in June known as on the CEOs of Google and Apple to remove the app from their stores, citing stories that recommend the app harvests “swaths of delicate information.” 

“TikTok just isn’t what it seems to be on the floor. It isn’t simply an app for sharing funning movies or memes. That’s the sheep’s clothes,” Carr wrote. “At its core, TikTok features as a classy surveillance software that harvests in depth quantities of non-public and delicate information.”

ByteDance spokesperson Jennifer Banks informed Forbes that hiring is determined “purely on a person’s skilled functionality to do the job.” 

“For our China-market companies, that features individuals who have beforehand labored in authorities or state media positions in China,” she mentioned. “Exterior of China, workers additionally carry expertise in authorities, public coverage, and media organizations from dozens of markets.”

She mentioned that ByteDance “doesn’t permit workers to carry second or part-time jobs or any exterior enterprise exercise” in response to the 15 profiles of concurrent ByteDance-Chinese language state media workers, saying that it will “trigger a battle of curiosity.” 

TikTok lately admitted that workers exterior the U.S. might entry consumer info, however insisted that such entry required “sturdy cybersecurity protocols and authorization” from its U.S. safety crew. 

Leaked internal documents from TikTok additionally present that the corporate actively pushed workers to “downplay the China affiliation” as a way to assist cope with the rising consideration and criticism, Gizmodo reported.