TikTok owner spent record amount lobbying in 2022 as it faces national security concerns, ban threats

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TikTok's Chinese genitor institution ByteDance and its subsidiaries spent a idiosyncratic grounds magnitude lobbying successful 2022 arsenic the social media giant faces nationalist information concerns and threats of bans successful the United States.

ByteDance and its subsidiaries finished past twelvemonth by dropping astir $1.2 cardinal into its lobbying enactment during the 4th quarter, caller disclosures show, bringing its 2022 full to astir $5.4 million. In 2021, the institution had spent astir $5.2 cardinal connected its power campaign, its erstwhile high.

The flimsy uptick successful lobbying came arsenic the Beijing-based institution faces increasing unit successful the United States and represents much than treble the currency it had poured into its power efforts conscionable 2 years prior. Critics accidental the Chinese government could entree idiosyncratic data, specified arsenic browsing past and location, and propulsion communist propaganda done the app. 

ByteDance disbursed lobbyists to the U.S. House, Senate, Executive Office of the President, and Department of Defense during the 4th fourth to lobby connected assorted issues, including the No TikTok connected Department of Homeland Security Devices Act, which prohibits DHS employees and contractors from utilizing TikTok connected its computers oregon different accusation exertion equipment.

SCHIFF GETS ROASTED AFTER POSTING TIKTOK VIDEO ABOUT LOSING COMMITTEE SPOT: 'CHINA IS LAUGHING AT US'

Fears surrounding the fashionable societal media tract grew pursuing a study past twelvemonth that showed a TikTok squad successful China accessed information of U.S. TikTok users, including 2 journalists. ByteDance fired 4 employees over the matter.

"The grounds that China is utilizing TikTok to spy connected and power American citizens is clear, and it lone keeps mounting arsenic clip goes on," Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio wrote successful a Fox News Digital op-ed on Monday.

"Moreover, Beijing's power connected ByteDance, TikTok's genitor company, is undeniable. Not lone does Chinese instrumentality compel ByteDance to manus implicit information astatine a moment's notice, but the Chinese authorities besides holds an ownership involvement successful the tech giant's cardinal home subsidiary."

GAVIN NEWSOM CLINGS TO TIKTOK ACCOUNT AFTER MOST STATES, CONGRESS BAN CHINESE-OWNED APP

An expanding fig of states are astatine slightest partially banning TikTok. Congress prohibited TikTok's usage connected national authorities devices successful the omnibus measure President Biden signed into instrumentality weeks ago. The U.S. equipped forces person besides banned TikTok connected subject devices.

While the effort to restrict TikTok has been bipartisan, Democrats inactive mostly usage the app connected their idiosyncratic devices. A States Newsroom analysis recovered that astatine slightest 32 members of Congress - each Democrats and 1 autarkic - had TikTok accounts arsenic of aboriginal January. At slightest fractional of those members either "currently beryllium oregon person antecedently served connected committees dealing with overseas affairs, the U.S. military, investigations and nationalist security." 

ByteDance has maintained that idiosyncratic information is not shared with the Chinese government.

TIKTOK PARENT COMPANY FIRES STAFFERS WHO OBTAINED DATA OF U.S. USERS: 'EGREGIOUS MISUSE OF THEIR AUTHORITY'

In an effort to debar sweeping U.S. bans, TikTok has reportedly offered to summation its transparency by granting U.S. officials oversight of its algorithms arsenic portion of a $1.5 cardinal reorganization of its U.S. operations.

ByteDance did not instantly respond to a Fox News Digital petition for comment. 

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