Beijing: Republicans in Congress, who will set the agenda for the House in the coming year, pressed TikTok on Tuesday to admit the company misled Congress about the amount of user data shared with China, where owner ByteDance has its headquarters.
Representatives James Comer, the top Republican on the Oversight Committee, and Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the top Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, wrote to TikTok to express their concerns about misinformation at a staff briefing.
In a letter to TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew on Tuesday, Republican lawmakers claimed that "some information provided by TikTok during the staff briefing appears to be untrue or misleading, including that TikTok does not track US user locations."
Republicans will take control of the House in January as a result of a victory in the elections earlier this month. The letter could be a sign of closer scrutiny of Chinese businesses like TikTok, which was a target of former President Donald Trump's Republican administration.
However, the TikTok controversy has also worried the Democratic Biden administration. FBI Director Christopher Wray claimed earlier this month that China could be using video-sharing apps to manipulate users or seize control of their devices.
The lawmakers questioned TikTok on a variety of issues, including whether it could provide a draft of any agreement it could negotiate with the Biden administration to continue operating in the United States.
Due to concerns about US user data being transferred to the Communist government of China, the US government's Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which assesses US acquisitions of foreign companies for potential national security risks, has ByteDance ordered to divest TikTok in 2020.
CFIUS and Tiktok have been in talks for months to protect the data of more than 100 million users of Tiktok.
In June 2021, President Joe Biden rescinded several of Trump's executive orders seeking to restrict new TikTok downloads and directed the Commerce Department to investigate security risks posed by the apps.