300 Current TIKTOK, BYTEDANCE Employees Worked For Chinese State Media

LinkedIn profiles for hundreds of ByteDance employees reveal close connections between the company and China’s propaganda industry.

Three hundred current employees at TikTok and its parent company ByteDance previously worked for Chinese state media publications, according to public employee LinkedIn profiles reviewed by Forbes.

Twenty-three of these profiles appear to have been created by current ByteDance directors, who manage departments overseeing content partnerships, public affairs, corporate social responsibility and “media cooperation.”

Fifteen indicate that current ByteDance employees are also concurrently employed by Chinese state media entities, including Xinhua News AgencyChina Radio International and China Central / China Global Television. (These organizations were among those designated by the State Department as “foreign government functionaries” in 2020.)

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Fifty of the profiles represent employees that work for or on TikTok, including a content strategy manager who was formerly a Chief Correspondent for Xinhua News.

The LinkedIn profiles reviewed by Forbes reveal significant connections between TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, and the propaganda arm of the Chinese government, which has been investing heavily in using social media to amplify disinformation that serves the Chinese Communist Party. Chinese state media outlets have a large presence on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, but so far, they have been relatively quiet on TikTok.



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