×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

U.S. Regulators Have Started to Investigate TikTok (Report)

U.S. regulators have opened an investigation into ByteDance, the Chinese owner of TikTok, and its acquisition of Musically in late 2017, Reuters reported Friday morning. Regulators are said to focus on potential national security risks, given that ByteDance is based in China.

The investigation is being handled by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which usually reviews these kinds of deals as they happen. However, since ByteDance didn’t seek approval for the deal when it happened, regulators are looking into it now, according to the report.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) jointly called for such an investigation last month, at the time calling TikTok “a potential counterintelligence threat we cannot ignore.”

“We are not influenced by any foreign government, including the Chinese government,” TikTok said at the time in response to Schumer’s and Cotton’s demands. “TikTok does not operate in China, nor do we have any intention of doing so in the future.”

ByteDance acquired Musically for $1 billion in November of 2017, and subsequently merged the app with its own TikTok video service.

Popular on Variety

There have been reports that TikTok censored some posts about pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong in recent weeks, but the company has denied this charge. “TikTok does not remove content based on sensitivities related to China,” the company said. “We have never been asked by the Chinese government to remove any content and we would not do so if asked. Period.”

More Digital

  • Morning Show Apple

    Golden Globe Noms: 'The Morning Show' Turns Apple TV Plus Into a Kudos Contender

    “Euphoric” was the word to describe the atmosphere around the Apple TV Plus offices in Culver City, Calif., on Monday morning as staffers awoke to the news that the fledgling service’s cornerstone drama series, “The Morning Show,” had landed three major Golden Globe Award nominations. Apple Worldwide Video had exactly two employees — heads Jamie [...]

  • Game of Thrones Avengers Endgame

    'Game of Thrones,' 'Avengers: Endgame' Among Most Popular Tweets of 2019

    Twitter released its top-trending topics and tweets of 2019 with “Game of Thrones,” “Avengers: Endgame,” and actor Tom Holland commanding the most tweets in the TV, movies, and actors categories. BTS holds both the No. 1 spot in the most-tweeted-about musicians category and the second-most-retweeted tweet worldwide. Since its release in June, a video of [...]

  • Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his side's

    Canal Plus, beIN Sports In Exclusive Talks For Distribution Deal

    Vivendi-owned pay-TV banner Canal Plus Group and the global network beIN Sports have started exclusive talks to sign a five-year exclusive distribution and sub-licensing deal in France. The two companies previously tried to forge a partnership in 2016 but it was denied by France’s anti-trust board. Under the proposed deal, Canal Plus would distribute all [...]

  • NBCUniversal Peacock

    Comcast to Spend $2 Billion on NBCU's Peacock Streaming Service in First Two Years

    Comcast expects to pump $2 billion into NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service in aggregate over 2020 and 2021, while the company is projecting it will not be profitable for the first five years, according to CFO Mike Cavanagh. Cavanagh, who provided the details Monday at UBS’s Global TMT Conference in New York City, tried to put [...]

  • Watcher Entertainment - Steven Lim, Ryan

    Ex-BuzzFeed Video Staffers Launch Watcher Entertainment Digital Studio (EXCLUSIVE)

    UPDATED: After building their careers as internet personalities at BuzzFeed, the creators and hosts of three of the company’s biggest shows — Steven Lim, Ryan Bergara and Shane Madej — have formed their own digital-video venture. They quit BuzzFeed earlier this year and founded L.A.-based Watcher Entertainment, with the trio looking to get full creative [...]

  • 25. Oktober 2019, Berlin, Deutschland, JustWatch[Foto:

    Streaming Guide JustWatch Acquires Video Search Engine GoWatchIt (EXCLUSIVE)

    Berlin-based streaming guide JustWatch has acquired media search engine GoWatchIt from Plexus Entertainment, and is using the acquisition to open up its first office in New York. Terms of the deal, which was stock- and cash-based, haven’t been disclosed. GoWatchIt founder and CEO David Larkin will join JustWatch as its new senior vice president of [...]

  • CBS Joins Open AP Audience-Targeting Alliance

    CBS Joins Open AP Audience-Targeting Alliance

    “Young Sheldon” leads CBS’ Thursday-night schedule. Soon it may help to lead advertisers to a new way of placing their commercials. CBS has joined “Open AP,” the audience-targeting alliance working to accelerate the emerging advertising practice known as “audience buying.” Open AP works to give advertisers a way to buy impressions from particular types of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content