The Chinese government has acquired a stake in TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance Technology co. Ltd. The acquisition brings to the fore concerns raised by the US government in 2020 accusing the video-making app of being a Chinese spy.
The Chinese government has acquired a 1 percent stake in the company and one of the three membership seats of the board of the parent company. This means that the government will now have some influence over the operations of the business.
TikTok amassed a massive growth in 2020 especially during the pandemic period. The company was recently ranked as the most downloaded app last year, beating Facebook messenger from the top spot.
Last year, former President Donald Trump attempted to ban TikTok citing security concerns. His administration argued that the company was collecting data from Americans signed on the app. Trump issued number of executive orders to ban the app giving them an option to sell it to a US company.
However, the executive orders were challenged in court, and the impending ban was suspended just as Trump lost the election. This gave the company a leeway to start fresh negotiations with President Joe Biden’s administration.
Senior officials in the administration said the process had been suspended after it was marred with several court orders. The new administration said they would instead come up with a robust way to review TikTok’s massive presence in the country amid the security concerns.
Now that the Chinese government has acquired a minority stake in the company, US government officials have already started calling in the government to effect the ban.