'Rigorous' interrogation | TikTok employees face grilling by US border officers over potential links to CCP

TikTok employees face grilling by US border officers over potential links to CCP

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers have reportedly intensified their interrogation of ByteDance and TikTok employees traveling from China to the United States.

According to a report by Forbes, more than 30 employees have been subjected to rigorous questioning, with inquiries focused on potential ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and data security concerns.

Anonymous sources close to the matter revealed that CBP officers are armed with a list of dedicated questions, probing into employees' affiliations with the CCP and the extent of ByteDance and TikTok's access to American user data.

Among the questions asked are those pertaining to Project Texas, TikTok's security initiative aimed at isolating American user data from China. Additionally, officers are reportedly inquiring about employees' educational backgrounds and political connections.

A spokesperson for CBP emphasized the agency's mandate to safeguard the nation's borders and enforce laws at ports of entry, stating that all international travelers, including US citizens, are subject to examination.

This heightened scrutiny comes amidst escalating tensions between the US government and Chinese tech giants.

President Biden recently signed a bill into law mandating Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their app stores unless ByteDance divests its US operations within 270 days.

TikTok has vehemently opposed the legislation, citing First Amendment violations and vowing to challenge it in court.

The case draws parallels between the CBP interrogations and a line of questioning posed by Senator Tom Cotton to TikTok's CEO, Shou Zi Chew, during a congressional hearing in January.

Cotton's inquiry into potential CCP influence was met with reminders from Chew about his Singaporean nationality.

The intensified scrutiny of TikTok employees highlights broader concerns within the US government regarding the influence of Chinese tech companies and their handling of American user data.

As tensions persist, the future of TikTok's operations in the US remains uncertain, with legal battles and geopolitical tensions.

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