The Chinese company ByteDance, which owns the TikTok short video service, spent a record $2.14 million on lobbying in the US in the second quarter, as the company is desperately trying to fend off attacks from US lawmakers concerned about the privacy and security of local users on the platform.
Compared to the first quarter, ByteDance’s spending on political advocacy increased by 130%, and only 16.3% was an increase in spending compared to the second quarter of last year, when the company spent $1.84 million. American politicians, who began to take an active interest in the safety of user data from the United States and access to it by Chinese employees of the company.
The company had to admit that TikTok employees in China did have access to the personal information of American users; and it was provided in violation of the rules. The American segment of the service was localized, that is, transferred to the Oracle cloud infrastructure in the country; and the head of TikTok’s security service announced his resignation.
A record $2.14 million spent by the owner of TikTok on US lobbying
It is difficult to say how this story may end, but one of the leaders of the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Brendan Carr; has already called on Apple and Google to remove the service application from the App Store and Play Market. TikTok hired its first lobbyist in 2019, and since then, the company’s operations in Washington DC have intensified significantly.
According to Wired, citing several sources, the social network TikTok has begun a global business restructuring; among other things, it provides for the dismissal of a significant number of employees.
In recent years, the popular social network owned by China’s ByteDance has rapidly expanded both its user base and staff. Despite obstacles to the service under the Donald Trump administration and business threats under Joe Biden; the network’s audience has continued to expand, recently surpassing a billion active monthly users and employing thousands worldwide.