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Amidst crackdown on tech companies, Chinese govt appoints director to board of ByteDance Beijing: Report

Apps like TikTok might not be affected by the move as ByteDance Beijing holds Chinese business licenses to TikTok-like app Douyin and news platform Toutiao. A Chinese government-owned body has appointed a director to the board of ByteDance Beijing, the domestic subsidiary of ByteDance Ltd. after acquiring a 1% stake in it, according to a report by The Information With the company’s operations are already controversial in the US and India - the latter has banned ByteDance's TikTok following skirmishes along the Indo-China border last year - this is set to make things tougher. Objections to ByteDance's operations are on the grounds that provisions in China's laws require its companies to share their data if and when asked for by the government. With the government now making an appointment to the companies’ board of directors those concerns will only increase. In a report, Bloomberg quoted Michael Norris at consultancy AgencyChina to be saying that the government's new stake in ByteDance's domestic subsidiary “reignites debate in overseas markets as to whether TikTok could be a vehicle for state influence.” The extent of Chinese government influence On April 30, ByteDance sold a 1% stake in its domestic subsidiary to WangTouZhongWen (Beijing) Technology, which is owned by three Chinese government bodies. These are the China Internet Investment Fund, controlled by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), China Media Group, the Party-controlled national broadcaster, and the Beijing municipal government’s investment arm. ByteDance Beijing holds Chinese business licenses related to its TikTok-like app Douyin and news and content platform Toutiao.…

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I cover health technology for MediaNama but, really, love all things tech policy. Always willing to chat with a reader! Reach me at anushka@medianama.com

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