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TikTok Probed For Illegal Operation In Taiwan

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TikTok Probed For Illegal Operation In Taiwan

(CTN NEWS) – TAIPEI –  Taiwan’s government has launched a probe into TikTok, a Chinese-owned social media platform, because it may be running an unlicensed branch on the island and Beijing may be using it to disseminate misinformation.

TikTok, which is not very popular in Taiwan, has faced pressure largely in the US due to worries that China could obtain user data, a fear that the firm disputes.

Taiwan’s China policy-making Mainland Affairs Council stated in a statement late on Sunday that a working group under the Cabinet had found evidence that TikTok was suspected of “illegal commercial operations” in Taiwan on December 9.

According to Taiwan’s Liberty Times newspaper, ByteDance, the owner of TikTok, has established a company on the island to advertise for business, violating Taiwanese law that forbids Chinese social media companies from conducting business there.

In response to that report, the Mainland Affairs Council stated that the Cabinet’s working group had discovered a possible legal violation and that legal authorities were looking into it.

There was also a strong possibility that the Chinese government was gathering user data since “the mainland side has exploited short video platforms like TikTok to carry out cognitive operations and infiltration against other countries in recent years.”

A request for feedback from TikTok was not immediately fulfilled.

Taiwan forbids various Chinese businesses from operating on the island, including social media sites and the hugely lucrative chip manufacturing sector.

TikTok Probed For Illegal Operation In Taiwan

Image: GOOGLE

The council said that Taiwan has already prohibited government agencies from using Chinese apps like TikTok.

The most popular social networking sites in Taiwan are Facebook and Instagram, owned by Meta Platforms META.O.

Although TikTok lagged behind its competitors in Taiwan, market research firms claim it is growing in popularity among young people.

Taiwan has long claimed that China’s misinformation is being pushed on the island that Beijing claims as its territory by means of social media.

As part of a multiyear effort to counter what many Taiwanese perceive to be Chinese attempts to influence politics and the democratic process, including through the covert funding of politicians and the media.

Among other tactics, Taiwan passed an anti-infiltration law in 2019.

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