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Hundreds of TikTok employees earlier worked for Chinese state media: report

Hundreds of TikTok employees earlier worked for Chinese state media: report

Beijing: Tikotok's workforce seems to be a lot closer to Chinese state media than originally thought. A review of LinkedIn profiles by Forbes found that 300 current employees at the social media platform and its parent company ByteDance worked for Chinese state media publications.

23 of these employees are current ByteDance directors, who manage departments overseeing content partnerships, public affairs, corporate social responsibility, and "media cooperation. 15 of these belong to people who are also concurrently employed by Chinese state media entities, including Xinhua News Agency, China Radio International, and China Central / China Global Television.

Forbes' analysis has exposed a significant connection between TikTok and the propaganda arm of the Chinese government, which has been investing a lot in social media to allegedly amplify disinformation that serves the Chinese Communist Party.

However, Chinese state media outlets have a large presence on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, but have been relatively quiet on TikTok. ByteDance and TikTok did not deny their connection to Chinese state media. None of the state media outlets responded to Forbes' request for comment.

ByteDance spokesperson Jennifer Banks said the company makes hiring decisions based purely on an individual's professional capability to do the job.

"For our China-market businesses, that includes people who have previously worked in government or state media positions in China. Outside of China, employees also bring experience in government, public policy, and media organizations from dozens of markets," reported ANI.

When asked about employees concurrently employed by Chinese state media, she said ByteDance does not allow employees to hold second or part-time jobs or any outside business activity. "That would cause a conflict of interest."

There have been allegations about the Chinese government using TikTok to influence other populations, especially the US and collecting data.

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TAGS:TikTok China Chinese state media ByteDance 
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