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US Border Agents Question Chinese TikTok Employees: Report

US Border Agents Question Chinese TikTok Employees: Report

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  • US border officers questioned more than 30 ByteDance and TikTok employees. According to Forbes.
  • They were asked about their ties to the Chinese Communist Party and the security of US user data.
  • TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew faced similar questions during a hearing in January.

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers questioned more than 30 ByteDance and TikTok employees traveling to the US from China, according to… Report from Forbes.

Forbes, citing anonymous sources close to the matter, reported that employees are being asked a list of questions, including whether they have ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and how much access ByteDance and TikTok have to US user data.

Employees from different teams – many of them Chinese – are also asked by CBP Field Operations Office officers about… Texas projectaccording to Forbes, is TikTok's comprehensive security plan to isolate US data from China.

They are also asked about their education and political connections, according to the outlet.

“CBP is charged with protecting our nation's borders as well as enforcing numerous laws at our nation's ports of entry on behalf of a variety of other government agencies, including state and local law enforcement,” an agency spokesperson told Business Insider. “All international travelers attempting to enter the United States, including all US citizens, are subject to screening.”

President Biden signed a bill into law last week requiring Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their app stores unless ByteDance divests its US operations within 270 days. TikTok has vowed to fight the legislation in court, citing First Amendment violations.

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Forbes noted that the investigations conducted by border officers are similar to the senator's series of interrogations. Tom Cotton posed to TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew during a congressional hearing in January.

At that time, Chiu reminded Cotton several times that he was Singaporean.

TikTok did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

Correction: May 1, 2024: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the type of Customs and Border Patrol agent who was questioning TikTok employees. The CBP officers were Office of Field Operations employees, not Border Patrol agents.

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