GOP senator calls on Yellen to 'ensure' TikTok severs its connections to China
Sen. Josh Hawley wrote to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen asking her to "ensure" that social media giant TikTok fully cuts ties between itself and China.
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., wrote Monday asking Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to "ensure" that the social media giant TikTok fully cuts its ties with China.
TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, is based in China, a relationship that has become the subject of intense scrutiny from lawmakers as the U.S. assesses its relationship with the Chinese government. TikTok's chief operating officer, Vanessa Pappas, was grilled by senators on Capitol Hill last week at a hearing with leaders from several major social media companies.
"This shocking testimony calls for action," Hawley wrote in his letter, asking Yellen "to exercise your responsibilities as [chair of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States] to ensure that the Chinese company ByteDance fully divests TikTok and that TikTok sever any connections with any other Chinese company."
FCC calls on Apple and Google to remove TikTok from app storesJune 30, 202202:18Hawley pointed to Pappas’ saying when he questioned her at Wednesday's Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing that Chinese-based engineers who work for the company have access to user data, although she insisted the company has "strict controls in terms of who and how our data is accessed," adding that U.S.-based user data is stored in the U.S.
Chinese engineers with access to the user data have it "to perform daily duties," like site performance management and book handling, she said.