TikTok said Monday it is moving closer to resolving national security concerns pressed by the Biden administration, following years of federal scrutiny over allegations that the video platform had transmitted Americans’ personal data to China.
“We will not comment on the specifics of confidential discussions with the U.S. government, but we are confident that we are on a path to fully satisfy all reasonable U.S. national security concerns,” a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement.
The Biden administration and TikTok have reportedly penned a preliminary agreement to allow the popular video-based app to continue operating in the U.S. The deal would require data security and governance changes at TikTok without forcing its China-founded owner ByteDance to sell TikTok, according to The New York Times.
TikTok has undergone scrutiny from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which examines businesses for national security risks with the input of federal departments and White House officials.
Officials at the National Security Council and the Treasury Department declined to comment on CFIUS’ handling of TikTok.
TikTok has faced mounting pressure to change its U.S. business since 2020, when former President Donald Trump issued an executive order to block transactions involving the platform, which would have prevented distribution of TikTok‘s app via Apple and Google’s app stores.
President Biden revoked Mr. Trump’s executive order and replaced it with his own, which created a new framework for evaluating risk on connected software applications.
Earlier this year, the leaked audio of more than 80 internal TikTok meetings showed engineers in China had access to U.S. data between September 2021 and January 2022, according to recordings obtained by BuzzFeed.
TikTok said earlier this year that no American data was ever shared with the Chinese government. The company has also touted its partnership with U.S. tech company Oracle to formulate data management plans that TikTok said Oracle would audit.
• Ryan Lovelace can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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