In this photo illustration the social media application logo for TikTok is displayed on the screen of an iPhone in front of a US flag and Chinese flag background on March 16, 2023 in Washington, DC.
Olivier Douliery | AFP | Getty Images
The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that a star-studded array of Silicon Valley venture investors has joined a bipartisan group of US lawmakers as part of a working group that has one objective: to counter China’s influence in the US technology industry. To compete
The consortium has been named Hill and Valley Forum, the Journal reported, a nod to the group’s Bicastle origins. The Journal reported that the forum will host a dinner next week ahead of TikTok CEO Sho Xie Chew’s congressional testimony, which will be attended by prominent venture capitalists Peter Thiel and Vinod Khosla.
Representatives for Thiel and Khosla were not immediately available for comment.
TikTok’s potential impact on American consciousness, especially among young or underage citizens, has worried lawmakers and regulators, who fear that Chinese ownership of the app could make American users vulnerable to China’s intelligence-gathering efforts. makes.
Jacob Helberg, the former Google global policy advisor who is leading the coalition, told the Journal that TikTok “represents the most powerful espionage operation China has ever conducted against the US”.
TikTok’s popularity exploded during the Covid lockdown. By 2021, TikTok’s Chinese parent company Bytedance Said The app had reached one billion monthly active users, showing a sharp increase from December 2019, when it reported 507 million monthly users.
Now, lawmakers, venture investors, and lobbyists are pushing to ban or reduce the app’s influence on government, citing a powerful threat from the Chinese government.
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS, told ByteDance that unless the company’s Chinese owners divest from their stakes, CFIUS will move to ban the app. Said CNBC on Thursday. The ultimatum came weeks after MPs to plead The committee will complete the years-old investigation of Tiktok.
“There is no truth to Helberg’s claim,” a TikTok spokesperson told CNBC. The spokesperson said TikTok had stored “all” new US user data “exclusively” with Oracle since October 2022.