Deep Dives

Accusations against ByteDance for Alleged Spying on Hong Kong Activists

June 7, 2023
We summarized this source into key points to remember. To know more about it, please click on the link above.

Receive a daily summary of what happened in tech, powered by ML and AI.

Thank you! We sent you a verification email.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Join 1,500+ thinkers, builders and investors.
A former executive at ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, alleges that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) committee members could access all data gathered by ByteDance using a "superuser" credential, which they allegedly used to identify and locate Hong Kong protesters and civil rights activists. ByteDance has denied these allegations. Meanwhile, TikTok is suing the state of Montana to prevent a ban on the app scheduled for January 2024, claiming that the ban infringes upon U.S. free speech rights.

CCP Access Allegations: The ex-ByteDance executive claims that CCP committee members had a "superuser" credential granting them access to all collected data.
  • The executive, who was a head of engineering for ByteDance in the U.S., states this was common knowledge among senior management.
  • Allegedly, in 2018, CCP committee members used their access to identify and locate Hong Kong protesters and civil rights activists.

  • ByteDance's Response: ByteDance has firmly denied the accusations made by the former employee.
  • The company stated that the executive was employed for less than a year and worked on a now-discontinued app, Flipagram.
  • ByteDance also expressed skepticism about the timing of the allegations, noting that the executive had not raised these issues in the five years since his employment ended.

  • TikTok Ban in Montana: TikTok is facing a ban in Montana set to take effect in January 2024.
  • The ban would make it illegal for app stores to offer TikTok but would not prevent people who already have the app from using it.
  • Montana, with a population of just over one million, had previously banned TikTok on government devices in December last year.

  • TikTok's Lawsuit: In response to the impending ban, TikTok has initiated legal action to block it, citing a conflict with U.S. free speech rights.
  • TikTok claims to have 150 million American users, primarily teenagers and users in their 20s.
  • The legal action represents TikTok's effort to protect its user base and maintain its presence in the U.S. market.
  • Did you like this article? 🙌

    Receive a daily summary of the best tech news from 50+ media (The Verge, Tech Crunch...).
    Thank you! We sent you a verification email.
    Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
    Join 1,500+ thinkers, builders and investors.
    You're in! Thanks for subscribing to Techpresso :)
    Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
    Join 5,000+ thinkers, builders and investors.
    Also available on:

    You might also like