Friday, November 22, 2019

US to investigate Chinese video App TikTok

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After the Huawei Group, the US government will now apparently investigate the Chinese video app TikTok because of security concerns under the microscope. A government panel to check whether the popular especially for their karaoke videos app forward data to the Chinese authorities, reported the “New York Times” on Friday, 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.

Read also: Learn about 12 most downloaded apps on Android and iPhone

The Chinese company ByteDance had bought TikTok 2017. At that time the application was still 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 government like the Chinese government” and its data centers are not located in the People’s Republic.

The Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei has classified the American government 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. 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 so-called Lip sync videos in which users move to a recorded song only the lips and dance instead of singing themselves.

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