Senators Investigate Disturbing Report About TikTok’s Hiring Practices

October 5th, 2023 9:12 AM

Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) are inquiring about TikTok's reportedly shadowy hiring practices that appear to be ushering in Communist Party-tied executives.

In a letter sent to the company, the senators expressed national security concerns over reports that several high level China-based exectives for Bytedance have moved to the U.S. to work for TikTok.

This is particularly concerning considering that the CCP has a seat on ByteDance’s board and a financial stake in the company. The Senators wrote that the purported hiring practice further calls "into question the independence of TikTok's operations and the security of its U.S. users' information."

"The personnel changes give the impression that TikTok is attempting to preserve ByteDance's influence over TikTok while avoiding suspicion," the senators continued. They also asked for a report of the security protocols ByteDance follows for employees who transfer to the U.S., citing the extreme risk to national security.

“The relationship between ByteDance and TikTok poses a unique risk to the security and privacy of TikTok’s users in the United States. TikTok executives, including personnel based in China, have been found spying on American journalists, and, in leaked recordings, its staff acknowledged that ‘everything is seen in China,’” the letter added.

TikTok responded to what seems like yet another blow to the video-streaming app’s reputation claiming that it welcomed the scrutiny. "In a large, global organization, it is not uncommon for employees to work on different products or geographies over the course of their career," a spokesperson said in a statement, according to Tech Crunch.

Other Republican lawmakers have led the charge to ban the app including Sens. Josh Halwey, Rick Scott (R-FL), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Tom Cotton (R-AR). 

In 2021, Hawley (R-MO) even reintroduced the No TikTok on Government Devices Act to ban TikTok from official federal devices. At the time, he called TikTok “a Trojan horse for the Chinese Communist Party that has no place on government devices—or any American devices, for that matter.” He added that“TikTok has repeatedly proven itself to be a malicious actor[,] but Joe Biden and Big Tech refuse to take the threat of Chinese espionage seriously. It’s time for Congress to act.”

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