Fired ByteDance Exec Claims in Lawsuit That China Has Open Entry to US Particular person Information

A former authorities at ByteDance has alleged in a lawsuit filed in opposition to the tech agency that Chinese language language regime officers had unfettered entry to the company’s data when he labored there, along with data saved in america.

Yintao Yu, 36, was the head of engineering for ByteDance’s U.S. operations from August 2017 to November 2018. He filed a wrongful dismissal lawsuit in opposition to the company in San Francisco Superior Courtroom on May 12.

Yu alleges that he was fired from ByteDance—the mum or dad agency of the Chinese language language video app TikTok—after reporting circumstances of alleged misconduct on the agency to his bosses, who dismissed his points.

Yu accused ByteDance of stealing content material materials from totally different platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. He talked about the tech massive served as a “propaganda instrument” for the Chinese language language Communist Get collectively (CCP) by manipulating content material materials.

He claimed to have witnessed ByteDance engineers manipulating the algorithm on Douyin, the Chinese language language mannequin of TikTok, to promote content material materials expressing hatred for Japan and demote content material materials exhibiting help for the Hong Kong protests.

Yu talked about the CCP had a selected unit at ByteDance’s locations of labor in Beijing that equipped steering on how the company could advance “core Communist values.”

Yu talked about the officers had the pliability to point out off the Chinese language language mannequin of ByteDance’s apps, and maintained entry to all agency data, along with knowledge saved in america.

Yu is trying to find punitive hurt, misplaced earnings, and 220,000 ByteDance shares that weren’t vested by the purpose he was fired.

The Epoch Events has reached out to ByteDance for comment.

TikTok has come under elevated scrutiny in Washington because of nationwide issues of safety and the potential that U.S. prospects’ private knowledge could land throughout the arms of the CCP, with many lawmakers advocating for a nationwide ban of the app.

ByteDance has repeatedly denied that TikTok data is handed to Beijing, with the company claiming it retailers U.S. particular person data on servers exterior China.

Legal guidelines to Clamp Down on TikTok

Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) talked about on May 3 that senators will take into consideration legal guidelines geared towards rising the U.S. potential to clamp down on TikTok and totally different foreign-controlled apps.

The New York Democrat was referencing legal guidelines proposed by Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and John Thune (R-S.D.) in March, dubbed the RESTRICT Act, which objectives to cope with the continued menace posed by experience from worldwide adversaries, along with China.

Beneath the legal guidelines, the Commerce Division could possibly be granted new authority to “set up, deter, disrupt, cease, prohibit, look at, or in another case mitigate” any risks stemming from a diffusion of data communications and experience transactions involving foreign-owned apps just like TikTok.

(L-R) Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.), Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), Sen. Michael Bennett (D-Colo.), Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), and Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) all through a data conference to introduce the RESTRICT Act on the U.S. Capitol in Washington on March 7, 2023. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Warner and Thune have been joined by 24 totally different senators earlier this 12 months in proposing the measure.

In April, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo instructed a Senate listening to that the Biden administration is taking “urgent actions” to cope with security risks posed by TikTok and totally different worldwide companies, along with hiring of us to observe and set up such companies.

“I’ve put over 200 Chinese language language companies on the entity guidelines in my tenure, and we’re actively, constantly investigating further threats, and if we anticipate companies need to go onto the guidelines, I can’t hesitate,” she talked about.

Katabella Roberts and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Originally posted 2023-05-15 15:24:40.