A change in control of the Japanese unit of TikTok, the popular video-sharing program owned by China-based company ByteDance, could be one way to address consumer data safety concerns in Japan, a lawmaker from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling party has said.
Norihiro Nakayama, a senior member of several lawmakers in the Liberal Democratic Party looking into Chinese programs, said the group was unlikely to seek a ban on TikTok and other apps but would push for measures to ensure security of consumer information.
Nakayama’s remarks come after the United States arranged ByteDance to divest the US operations of TikTok within 90 days, ramping up pressure from President Trump over concerns about the protection of their personal data managed by ByteDance along with other Chinese technology.
He explained an ownership change for TikTok owner ByteDance’s local performance could be one solution, without elaborating further. Nakayama worried he had been giving a personal opinion, rather than the consensus of this group, which will be directed by Akira Amari, a Liberal Democratic Party heavyweight and close political ally of Prime Minister Abe.
TikTok has said that it’s never provided user data to China and it wouldn’t do so if requested.
ByteDance Japan officials contacted by email did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
US officials have argued that, under China’s national intelligence legislation, all citizens and companies have to collaborate in espionage attempts.
Beyond TikTok, President Donald J Trump has also issued an order that would prohibit trades with Tencent-owned WeChat messaging program.
The Japanese lawmakers plan to compile a set of proposals on September 10th, Nakayama said.
“I would like to propose a framework that enables scientific verification of this concern”, he said.
The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed the ‘Changing TikTok Japan ownership could address governments concerns‘ article. Initial reporting via our content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka. Editing by David Dolan and Kenneth Maxwell.
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