TikTok owner ByteDance side-steps China -sources

Video credit: Reuters Studio
Published on May 28, 2020 - Duration: 01:33s

TikTok owner ByteDance side-steps China -sources

The parent company of short video app TikTok is taking steps to distance the business from China at a time of rising global tensions, several people told Reuters exclusively.

Conway G.

Gittens has more.

TikTok owner ByteDance side-steps China -sources

TikTok, the latest video-sharing social media craze, and its Chinese parent ByteDance are feeling the heat as global tensions rise with China, leading the app owner to quietly shift power away from its home country, several people familiar with plans exclusively told Reuters.

The most visable shift in power: The recent hiring of former Walt Disney head of Streaming Ken Mayer to head up TikTok from Los Angeles.

He's also been given additional leadership roles once spearheaded in China, sources revealed.

And that's not all: ByteDance has beefed up TikTok's engineering, as well as research and development operations in Silicon Valley, sources said.

In addition, it has hired a person in New York to smooth over investor relations.

The decision to move away from China not only impacts TikTok, which can't be viewed inside that country, but also ByteDance's other non-China properties.

There is heightened scrutiny of Chinese-owned entities as the White House trades barbs with China over a number of things, including complaints over the handling of global health issues and a political crackdown on Hong Kong.

And ByteDance is under a further watchful eye since the U.S. is one of TikTok's biggest markets, having grown wildly popular with American teenagers.

That success has caught the attention of U.S. authorities worried about personal data collection and a potential risk to national security.

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