Amazon’s move adds to the difficulties facing TikTok, which has been popular with young audiences in the United States and is owned by the Chinese tech company ByteDance. Because of its Chinese ownership and heightened tensions between the United States and China over issues such as trade and technology dominance, TikTok has come under increasing scrutiny in Washington over whether it is secure.
Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, said on Monday that the Trump administration was considering blocking some Chinese apps, which he has called a threat to national security. Last year, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, a federal panel that reviews foreign acquisitions of American firms on national-security grounds, opened a national security review of ByteDance’s acquisition of the American company, Musical.ly, which eventually became TikTok.
In response, ByteDance has said that it would separate TikTok from much of its Chinese operations, and that users’ personal data would be stored in the United States and not in China. In May, ByteDance hired Kevin Mayer, a former Disney executive, to be chief executive of TikTok based in Los Angeles.
Late on Monday, TikTok also said that it would withdraw from app stores in Hong Kong, where a new national security law from China was enacted. The company said it would make the app inoperable to users there within a few days. TikTok has also said that managers outside China call the shots on key aspects of its business, including rules about data.
Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/10/technology/tiktok-amazon-security-risk.html