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Report: At least 60 managers at TikTok parent company's HQ are on communist oversight committee

Nearly 140 employees total are on ubiquitous CCP council.

Updated: August 8, 2020 - 1:45pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

At least five dozen managers at the Chinese technology company ByteDance belong to the corporation's communist oversight committee, according to an internal corporate document leaked this week.

ByteDance has been at the center of a political firestorm in recent weeks due to its ownership of the social media sharing app TikTok. Government officials have claimed that TikTok's data-gathering capabilities represent a national security threat to the U.S. To that end, President Trump this week signed an executive order prohibiting U.S. transactions with ByteDance. 

TikTok officials in the U.S. have insisted that user data are not shared with Chinese government officials. Yet a leaked document from ByteDance's headquarters have raised fresh concerns that Communist officials in Beijing may take a heavy hand in the company's runnings, up to and including data mining from U.S. consumers. 

Many corporations in China feature internal Chinese Communist Party committees made up of employees who are also party members; these committees are meant to ensure fidelity to the country's ruling one-party political ideology. 

At ByteDance's headquarters, at least 138 employees are on the company's communist committee; sixty of those "are classified as having a managerial role," the Epoch Times reported on Friday.

The document obtained by the Times was only a partial list of committee members, the paper reported. Altogether, ByteDance has around 60,000 employees spread out in 230 offices worldwide. 

ByteDance was founded as a tech startup in 2012; its current valuation is estimated at around $100 billion. 

TikTok, one of the company's best-known apps, allows users to create short, often musical videos for sharing on social media. The government of India banned the app in that country in June of this year pursuant to a border dispute with China. 

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