TikTok Insiders Reveal Chinese Parent Company Can ‘Access U.S. User Data.’


Company insiders have revealed that the Chinese parent company of the app TikTok can covertly access user data, alleging the boundaries between the two companies were “so blurry as to be almost non-existent,” in a CNBC report.

The bombshell report – which validates the Trump administration’s efforts to ban the app in the U.S. – comes just after the Biden White House decided to allow TikTok to continue operations, and even welcomed TikTokers into the White House for a “briefing.”

A “recruiter, along with four other former employees, told CNBC they’re concerned about the popular social media app’s Chinese parent company, which they say has access to American user data and is actively involved in the Los Angeles company’s decision-making and product development,” the outlet summarized.

One of the anonymous employees alleged that “the boundaries between TikTok and ByteDance were so blurry as to be almost non-existent.”

The National Pulse has unearthed pledges from the former ByteDance CEO to use his platform to “promote socialist core values” and devotion to the Chinese Communist Party, making the ties between the two companies even more concerning.

The report contains several employees testifying that “ByteDance employees are able to access U.S. user data”:

“This was highlighted in a situation where an American employee working on TikTok needed to get a list of global users, including Americans, who searched for or interacted with a specific type of content — that means users who searched for a specific term or hashtag or liked a particular category of videos. This employee had to reach out to a data team in China in order to access that information. The data the employee received included users’ specific IDs, and they could pull up whatever information TikTok had about those users. This type of situation was confirmed as a common occurrence by a second employee.”

The “close ties between TikTok and its parent company go far beyond user data,” employees reveal before describing how ByteDance controls the “direction and approvals for all kinds of decision-making, whether it be minor contracts or key strategies.”

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ByteDance even controls the development of TikTok’s algorithms, which have been used to collect biometric data including “faceprints and voiceprints” from users:

TikTok’s dependence on ByteDance extends to its technology. Former employees said that nearly 100% of TikTok’s product development is led by Chinese ByteDance employees. The lines are so indistinct that multiple employees described having email addresses for both companies. One employee said that recruiters often find themselves looking for candidates for roles at both companies. 

The insider report follows extensive National Pulse reporting on TikTok’s ties to the Chinese Communist Party, including hiring former diplomats for high-level positions.

The National Pulse recently revealed how TikTok hired the very same far-left “fact checker” used by Facebook to suppress stories about the Chinese Communist Party.

Natalie Winters

Natalie Winters is freelance reporter.

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