Chinese Employees at TikTok’s Parent Company Repeatedly Accessed Private Data On U.S. Individuals

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An alarming report shows that Chinese employees at Bytedance, TikTok’s parent company, have repeatedly accessed private data from the platform’s users in the U.S.

The world’s richest person, Elon Musk, responded to the report with one simple word: “Hmm…”

Musk proceeded to question the negative impact of TikTok. “Is TikTok destroying civilization?” Musk asked, adding that “some people think so.”

Then Musk followed up: “Or perhaps social media in general.”

President Donald Trump and others have criticized TikTok for its roots in China, which may have anti-American goals in mind with the platform. Trump signed an executive order in 2020 threatening to ban the app from the U.S., but Joe Biden prevented the ban from taking effect.

More on this story via Fox News:

Musk, who entered an agreement in April to acquire Twitter for $44 billion, reportedly told the social media giant’s staff at an all-hands meeting on Thursday that while he does find some TikTok videos to be “offensive,” the platform “does a great job of making sure you’re not bored.”

“I mean, it does just feel like ADD,” he said, according to a recording of the meeting heard by Insider. “But like, next level.”

Musk emphasized that TikTok’s app has “honed the algorithm to be as engaging as possible” and that he wants Twitter to be just as engaging but in a “different way.”

“TikTok is interesting, but you want to be informed about serious issues as well,” he added.

Musk believes Twitter has the opportunity to become the Western equivalent of China’s WeChat, an instant messaging, social media and mobile payment app developed by Tencent.

“You basically live on WeChat in China because it’s so helpful, so useful to daily life,” he said. “I think if we achieve that or come even close to that with Twitter, that would be a success.”

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