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300 Current Employees Of TikTok And ByteDance Worked For Chinese State Media, Confirms LinkedIn Data

Researchers are making some rather shocking revelations after hundreds of profiles were analyzed on the LinkedIn platform related to TikTok and ByteDance employees.

According to the new report that was recently published by Forbes, researchers claims that at least 300 people currently working for TikTok and its parent firm were associated with publications linked to Chinese state media.

And if that wasn’t a tough pill to swallow, well, there are findings that show how some of them are still continuing to do the same.

The reason why the issue is so concerning has to do with the simple fact that the US has already raised the alarm regarding TikTok and how a report says it shared data belonging to American citizens with China’s government. And now, seeing this is definitely not going to put people at ease.

The study went on to highlight how around 23 of the profiles shown had been created by directors currently working for ByteDance. They were believed to be involved in management, overviewing partnerships with brands, and also public affairs, not to mention the red flags of media cooperation.

At the moment, 15 of the profiles examined are still working for the country’s state media despite holding positions in ByteDance too. Some of the organizations that were recently delineated included the likes of China Radio, China Global TV, and Xinhua News.

On the other hand, around 50 of the profiles seen had employees that worked for TikTok or still doing so. And one of those happened to be a manager for the app’s content strategy. That person used to be a chief reporter for Xinhua News.

Forbes has confirmed the news of the profiles and their affiliations with China’s propaganda industry, raising the alarm bells for various reasons.

For those who may not be aware, China has been busy investing a lot of funds into its propaganda industry so as to spread misinformation regarding the country’s communist party. And that comes with news about how so many of the country’s media outlets continue to add a strong presence across apps like Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram. But when it came down to TikTok, they rather hush about it.

Also, TikTok works quite differently than the other apps outlined. It isn’t busy calling out accounts that are controlled by Chinese media outlets. Instead, it doesn’t even label them at all.

But we did hear about a few reports in March of this year regarding how it had made plans to call out some entities with accounts on the app using labels. But a further review by Forbes confirmed how that is yet to be the case.

For now, we know that neither TikTok nor Byte Dance have gone about denying any claims made by LinkedIn regarding the 300 employees. Also, none of the media outlets from China that were named in this report are yet to respond to comment requests too.

But considering the fact that so many users love spending their time across this platform than others is definitely worrisome and needs to be investigated further.


Read next: TikTok’s New ‘About This Ad’ Tool Gives Users Insight On How Their Data Is Being Used For Ad Targeting

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