TikTok may be more than just a fun app.
Kylie Jenner became TikTok's most influential user, pulling in seven million views with her Rise & Shine singing video, becoming the app's fastest-growing trend since it's inception. The latter makes it clear how many users are on the app and it's seemingly for that reason why it's under government investigation, sources report. As the story goes, Senators Chuck Schumer and Tom Cotton wrote a letter to the US Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire stating how the app is a "national security risk" due to the 110 million downlands in the US alone.
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TikTok is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, which bought Musical.ly two years then merging it with TikTok. Lawmakers are calling the move a “potential counterintelligence threat we cannot ignore.”
“I remain deeply concerned that any platform or application that has Chinese ownership or direct links to China, such as TikTok, can be used as a tool by the Chinese Communist Party to extend its authoritarian censorship of information outside China’s borders and amass data on millions of unsuspecting users,“ Senator Marco Rubio wrote in a statement. “I welcome today’s news that an investigation has reportedly been opened.”
The Committee on Foreign Investment (CFIUS) reviews deals made by foreign acquirers and is working diligently on uncovering any potential risk to users' information that ties into TikTok’s growing influence.