Go read this report on ByteDance employees with ties to Chinese state media

Hundreds of employees at TikTok’s parent company ByteDance used to work for Chinese state media outlets — and more than a dozen apparently still do. Forbes Report.

Forbes It surveyed the LinkedIn profiles of ByteDance and TikTok employees and found that 300 people previously worked for state media organizations, with current roles at the tech firm including content partnerships, policy, strategy, revenue and “media collaboration.”

of profiles Forbes reviewed, 15 suggested that ByteDance employees work simultaneously at the tech firm and state media outlets. It is possible that these employees neglected to update their profiles – those who contacted Forbes No response. But the overlap between state media and ByteDance staff seems well established.

Forbes Writes like this ByteDance spokeswoman Jennifer Banks did not claim the 300 employees worked for the company or were previously affiliated with the state media outlet. Banks said that hiring depends only on the professional ability of a person to do the job Forbes.

“For our China-market businesses, that includes people who have previously worked in government or state media positions in China. Outside of China, employees bring experience in government, public policy and media organizations from dozens of markets.

About 15 people whose profiles indicated they held both jobs, Banks said Forbes That ByteDance “does not permit employees to hold second or part-time jobs, or any outside business activities, that would create a conflict of interest.”

TikTok’s rise to become one of the most popular apps in the US has raised concerns from lawmakers about the platform’s ties to China. It poses a threat to national security. Forbes writes:

people Spend more time on TikTok today than any other app. In recent months, the app has been hailed as a Powerful Driver of American culture, and has risen rapidly serious player In our electoral and civic discourse. The LinkedIn profile has further raised concerns that China could use TikTok’s widespread cultural influence in the US for its own purposes, prompting a group of US politicians, including former President Donald Trump, to call for a ban on the app in 2019.

The profiles also provide critical insight into how ByteDance manages its relationships with Chinese state media organizations. In addition to TikTok, ByteDance operates several other websites and services, including two of the most popular apps in mainland China: Douyin (a short-form video app) and Toutiao (a news aggregator). Chinese state media organizations are the most popular accounts on Douyin, where they have millions of followers. Many LinkedIn profiles detail work on Toutiao and Douyin, which must comply with strict Chinese censorship laws.

Reports in recent months have linked TikTok to its China-based owner ByteDance in various ways. In June, Buzzfeed News Reported US TikTok user data was repeatedly accessed by employees in China. And A Gizmodo A story in July showed the lengths TikTok goes to distance itself From ByteDance, with an emphasis on “downplay”.[ing] China Association.

The Forbes The story notes that working at ByteDance can be a common career path from state media publications – people move between government and technology companies. Also in the US. But for a company already under scrutiny for its ties to foreign governments, additional connections through employees are likely to raise questions.

Read on Forbes the story here.

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