TikTok and the Chinese Communist Party

TikTok is the world’s third largest social network, after Facebook and Instagram. In June 2022, BuzzFeed News reported that TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, “is required under Chinese law to share its data with the Chinese Communist Party whenever requested.” “Audio obtained by BuzzFeed covering more than 80 internal meetings at TikTok between the months of September 2021 and January 2022 showed that U.S. employees were not permitted to access user data and instead relied on Chinese employees to do so” (“China accessed data of US TikTok users repeatedly,” Fox News, June 19, 2022). In December 2022, TikTok was banned on state devices in Texas, South Carolina, Maryland, and South Dakota. In January 2023, Congressman Mike Gallagher called on all Americans to delete TikTok from their phones, saying, “TikTok is owned by ByteDance, and ByteDance is effectively controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The editor-in-chief of ByteDance, for example, is a CCP Secretary” (Fox Business, Jan. 2, 2023). Gallagher said a large percentage of young Americans get their news from TikTok, and there is the danger of the Chinese government selectively editing their news. He said it would be like in 1958 if America allowed Russia’s propaganda organization Pravda to buy the New York Times, the Chicago Post, and other major news publications. Florida Congressman Mike Waltz agrees. He says, “We need to ban TikTok as a country. We can’t have a situation where hundreds of millions of Americans can be influenced by our greatest adversary” (Ibid.)

(Friday Church News Notes, January 6, 2023, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143)