Targeted by an investigation in Taiwan, TikTok denies having established a subsidiary there

TikTok’s Chinese parent company on Monday denied setting up a subsidiary in Taiwan, after authorities there said they were investigating the app for carrying out « illegal operations ».

The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), Taiwan’s top decision-making body on China, said it called for a coordinated investigation into TikTok’s security concerns in early December.

The « illegal operations » case was also handed over to prosecutors for investigation after a local company apparently engaged in business activities in Taiwan on behalf of ByteDance, TikTok’s Chinese parent company, the report said. Council without giving more details.

Taiwanese law prohibits Chinese online platforms and social networks from conducting commercial operations on its territory without preventing Taiwanese from accessing it.

Contacted by AFP, ByteDance denied Monday being present in Taiwan.

« Recent reports suggesting that ByteDance has set up a subsidiary in Taiwan are incorrect, » a spokesperson said.

« The company has not established any legal entity in Taiwan. »

TikTok is available in Taiwan, but not particularly popular there.

Local newspaper Liberty Times reported on Monday that the subsidiary under investigation was a company established in 2018 that changed its name to ByteDance Taiwan Ltd Co in November.

Taiwan has long claimed to be the victim of massive disinformation and espionage campaigns by China.

The self-governing democratic island has intensified its control over Chinese companies in recent years, including imposing rules on investment in several key sectors on the island, including the semiconductor industry.

In its statement on Sunday evening, the MAC claimed that TikTok posed a risk to its security.

« In recent years, China has used TikTok and other short videos to conduct cognitive operations aimed at infiltrating other countries, » according to the document.

« There is also a high risk of users’ personal information being collected by the Chinese government. »

Beijing considers Taiwan to be part of its territory and opposes the self-governing democracy being considered an independent state. Relations between Beijing and Taipei are currently at their lowest level in years.

TikTok regularly comes under fire for its ties to China. The company, however, denies being indebted to the Chinese authorities.


Laisser un commentaire