According to a public employee LinkedIn profile reviewed by Forbes, three hundred current employees of TikTok and its parent company ByteDance previously worked for Chinese state media publications.
Twenty-three of these profiles appear to have been created by current ByteDance directors, who manage the departments overseeing content participation, public affairs, corporate social responsibility, and “media collaboration.”
Fifteen indicate that current ByteDance employees are also employed concurrently by Chinese state media entities, including Xinhua News Agency, China Radio International and China Central/China Global Television. (These organizations were among those designated by the State Department as “foreign government functionaries” in 2020.)
The 50 profiles represent employees who work for or at TikTok, including a content strategy manager who was formerly a chief correspondent for Xinhua News.
A LinkedIn profile reviewed by Forbes reveals significant ties between TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, and the propaganda arm of the Chinese government, which has invested heavily in using social media to spread propaganda that serves the Chinese Communist Party. Still working. Chinese state media outlets have a large presence on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, but so far, they have been relatively quiet on TikTok.
ByteDance and TikTok did not contest that the 300 LinkedIn profiles represent current employees or deny their connections to Chinese state media. According to Forbes, none of the state media outlets named in this story responded to a request for comment.
Jennifer Banks, a spokeswoman for ByteDance, said that ByteDance “makes decisions based solely on an individual’s professional competence. For our China-market businesses, that includes those who have previously been a government or state resident in China.” Have worked in media positions. Outside of China, employees also bring experience in government, public policy and media organizations from dozens of markets.”
Responding to 15 profiles by Chinese state media showing concurrently employed ByteDance employees, they said ByteDance “does not allow employees to hold second or part-time jobs, or any outside business activity that would cause a conflict of interest.” “
Today people spend more time on TikTok than any other app. In recent months, the app has been hailed as a powerful driver of American culture, and has rapidly emerged as a key player in our electoral and civic discourse.
The LinkedIn profile has raised further concerns that China may be using TikTok’s broad cultural influence in the US for its own ends, a fear that led a group of US politicians, including former President Donald Trump, to ban the app in 2019. called upon.
Meanwhile, citing that TikTok is providing user data to the Chinese government, the British Parliament has closed its TikTok account, media reports said.
According to a Politico report, the British Parliament has closed its TikTok account after some Chinese-approved parliamentarians raised concerns about data security. Just six days after the account was opened, parliamentary officials confirmed that they had deactivated the social media profile.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)