The one of TikTok is one of the most successful stories in the international social networking landscape. Born by the will of the Chinese ByteDance Technology, which managed to transform the platform Musical.ly in a worldwide phenomenon, it also achieved the goal of having the most downloaded application in the first quarter of 2019, among other objectives.
To be successful in such a delicate sector from the point of view of privacy, however, means to attract the attention of regulators, so it happens that the US Committee for foreign investments (CFIUS, Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States) has decided to investigate the ways in which the managers of TikTok treat the data made available by millions of Amercan users.
The initiative by the agency is not surprising in times of trade war with China, the ByteDance Technology in fact, it is headquartered in Beijing and Washington wants to understand if the information relating to as many as 26 million US residents, almost all aged between 16 and 24, can be somehow also available in the Asian country.
The investigation would be motivated in particular by a procedural defect: when in 2017 the ByteDance Technology acquired Musical.ly for about a billion dollars, this transfer of ownership was not passed by the CFIUS. To complicate the situation there is also the fact that although the TikTok market is predominantly a US platform, in fact its managers are subject to Chinese legislation.
For its part, the ByteDance Technologyv would have defended himself by recalling that TikTok is not available in China, moreover its servers would be located partly in the United States and partly in Data Centers located in Singapore. The investigation would therefore not be justified if not in consideration of the fact that the social network is proving to be competitive with respect to the "traditional" US giants.