In a move that highlights growing tensions over TikTok’s parent firm ByteDance, U.S. Army banned the use of the popular video app on government-issued phones, following guidance from the Pentagon.
Amid growing scrutiny over its relationship with China, the company is trying its best to resolve the doubts related to privacy, security and censorship concerns. TikTok said that it stores date of U.S. users in Virginia with a backup in Singapore. It also revealed that the company doesn’t apply Beijing’s strict content guidelines in the United States.
Now, the Chinese company has released a transparency report in which the company company said it responded to 298 legal or emergency requests for information on users from 28 countries in the first half of the year.
Out of those 298 reports, ByteDance said that 107 came from India and 79 came from the United States. Further, it added that the company received 28 requests from government bodies in nine countries to remove content deemed a violation of local laws, and removed or restricted 25 accounts in response.
Interestingly, TikTok has said that the company “did not receive any government requests to remove or restrict content” or any “legal requests for account information” from China. Its noteworthy that TikTok isn’t operational in China and the Chinese version of the app runs as a separate entity called Douyin.
The report adds that India submitted 107 requests for user data and 11 requests for content takedowns. It received 79 requests for user data from US law enforcement agencies, along with six requests for content takedowns. The company added that it complied with 86 percent of the user data requests, and restricted or blocked seven accounts related to the content takedown requests.
Meanwhile, the company was reportedly looking for a new global headquarters outside of China to help reinforce their claims to autonomy. However, Bytedance has denied rumours that it might sell off the division to give it true independence.