Corporate sabotage is really a thing

China may be spying on the TikTok video app

Washington - After the Huawei group, the US government is now apparently also scrutinizing the Chinese video app TikTok because of security concerns. A government body should examine whether the app, which is particularly popular because of its karaoke videos, is forwarding data to the Chinese authorities, the New York Times reported on Friday, citing unspecified sources.

The responsible US Treasury Department did not want to comment on the report. Earlier, US parliamentarians, including Republican Senator Marco Rubio and the head of the Senate Democrats, Chuck Schumer, warned that Beijing could use TikTok for espionage purposes. "With more than 110 million downloads in the US alone, TikTok is a potential counter-espionage threat that we cannot ignore," Schumer wrote last week with Republican Senator Tom Cotton in a letter to US intelligence chief Joseph Maguire.

Data centers outside of China

The Chinese company ByteDance bought TikTok in 2017. At that time the application was still called Musical.ly. When asked, TikTok did not want to comment specifically on the test procedure in the USA, but assured that the company had "no higher priority" than "gaining the trust of users and supervisory authorities in the USA". Last week, TikTok assured that it was "not influenced by any foreign government like the Chinese government" and that its data centers were not located in the People's Republic.

The US government has classified the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei as a security risk for the United States. She accuses the company of sabotage and espionage for the Chinese government. Huawei rejects the allegations and assures that it operates independently of the Chinese state. There is a grace period until November 19 for US companies that are still working with Huawei. (APA, November 2nd, 2019)