According to a recent report, the founder of ByteDance, the Chinese company behind popular social media app TikTok, has told employees that the company will be focusing on global expansion in the coming years.
Reuters reports that in a recent email to employees, ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming told employees that the company would be focusing on global expansion in the coming years. Zhang reportedly stated that following the creation of new leadership positions at ByteDance, he would be working on creating fresh initiatives for global expansion such as education.
Zhang recently told Reuters that he hopes to one day see ByteDance as a fully global company similar to Google and Facebook, even as the firm faces a national security review by the U.S. government over its app TikTok’s collection of user data. Recently, some U.S. government agencies banned employees from using TikTok over data security worries.
Zhang told Reuters via video call: “There are a lot of misunderstandings out there. We are more localized in different markets than people think.” Breitbart News recently reported that Republican Senators Josh Hawley and Rick Scott recently introduced a bill aimed at banning federal employees from using the Chinese social media app TikTok on their government-issued phones as concerns over national security and the collection and sharing of data on Americans by the Chinese government grow.
The bill has been introduced as several U.S. agencies dealing with national security and intelligence issues including the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security have banned employees from using the app. The bill also attempts to rein in tech firms that Hawley has repeatedly clashed with.
“TikTok is owned by a Chinese company that includes Chinese Communist Party members on its board, and it is required by law to share user data with Beijing,” Hawley said. “As many of our federal agencies have already recognized, TikTok is a major security risk to the United States, and it has no place on government devices,” he added.
TikTok has grown in popularity at a rapid pace amongst U.S. teenagers, approximately 60 percent of TikTok’s 26.5 million monthly active users in the United States are aged between 16 and 24 according to a report from the company last year.
A TikTok spokesperson told Reuters that Hawley’s concerns were unfounded and that the company is increasing its level of communication with lawmakers to explain its policies.
In October of 2019, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) asked the acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, to investigate the Chinese-owned social media app TikTok to determine if it poses “national security risks.”