ICT, Government - US Investigates TikTok Merger
US regulators have opened a national security investigation into the Chinese owner of the TikTok app's billion dollar take-over of the US social media app Musical.ly.
The US$1 Billion acquisition was completed two years ago. But lawmakers have been calling for a national security probe into the Beijing ByteDance Technology Company for allegedly censoring politically sensitive content, or using it to influence users opinions. They also have concerns over the way the app for creating short videos stores personal data.
While the adults in Washington and Beijing are locked in a trade war, teenagers outside of China have made TikTok a big success. The company says that some 60 percent of TikTok's 26.5 million active monthly users in the US are between the ages of 16 and 24 years.
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) is reportedly in talks with TikTok about measures it could take to avoid divesting the Musical.ly assets it acquired.
US Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer welcomed news of the probe in an emailed statement, calling it a "validation of our concern that apps like TikTok may pose serious risks to millions of Americans and deserve greater scrutiny".