Business records reveal the Chinese Communist Party has retained a stake and a new board seat in TikTok’s parent company ByteDance, which in turn funds Facebook’s fact-checking partner ‘Lead Stories’.
A Reuters report describes how the Chinese technology firm sold a one percent stake to WangTouZhongWen (Beijing) Technology, owned by three state-run entities, on April 30th. “The deal also allowed the Chinese government to appoint a board director at Beijing ByteDance,” the outlet added.
The news will cause further consternation over the TikTok app and its data. Such threats – including to national security and data privacy – prompted the Trump administration to attempt to ban the platform from operating in the U.S. – an effort quashed by the Biden White House.
The new deal follows months of National Pulse reporting highlighting the company’s ties – via its personnel and global ambitions – to Beijing. The National Pulse has also reported on ByteDance’s funding of Facebook fact-checking partner Lead Stories – a relationship that outlet founder Alan Duke has insisted he is “very comfortable” with.