TikTok and its parent company ByteDance spent $20 million and $12 million on federal lobbying in 2022, respectively, while Meta and Google spent $12 million in 2021.
TikTok’s situation may not be the best right now, as new allegations are emerging about the app and its Chinese parent company, ByteDance.
On Friday, several companies and their respective lobbying firms released information showing that the popular social media company and its owner ByteDance spent more than $5.4 million on federal lobbying last year.
While spending by ByteDance and TikTok remained flat between 2021 and 2022, both of these years have seen significant growth since 2020. During this period, the organizations spent a little more than 2.5 million dollars.
These aggregate costs are small compared to the costs of various competitors such as Meta, the owner of Instagram, and even Google, the owner of YouTube. They each spent about $20 million in 2021 and about $12 million on lobbying.
Over the past decade, and even after the 2016 US election campaign, tech giants like Amazon, Google, Meta and even Facebook have increased their lobbying budgets. Now, it is interesting to see TikTok fall in the same footsteps as it enters the hot seat.
The company has been on DC’s target list for some time now, with US lawmakers unhappy with its actions and concerned about data surveillance and data sharing with Chinese authorities.
The fact that there is some sort of presumption about the Chinese Communist Party getting information through the US is astounding and an absolute violation of user privacy. Over time, TikTok continues to point out that it will not be inclined to hand over its US users’ data to others, even if asked.
However, this rationale is not considered sufficient to satisfy many legislators.
At the moment, the platform is not sold in China, and the leaders of the application are currently located in Los Angeles and even Singapore. However, current and former employees spoke of staff in the Beijing office. This is often an internal affair, as HQ has the final say on when a particular product will be launched on the platform.
In late 2020, the Trump administration attempted to block the app from US app stores. Then, at the White House, a compromise was agreed in which ByteDance could sell the company’s American operations to another company based in the United States.
The plan continued to fail after US President Joe Biden took office and signed other executive orders that halted the previous administration’s efforts. He said the country’s government should take a closer look at domestic threats posed by apps like TikTok through rigorous analysis.
The administration has even considered major rule changes that would allow the government to better understand requests for foreign spies based in China. The application has caused much concern outside the White House.
TikTok has repeatedly tried to prove that it is innocent and ready to make changes in order not to lose the US market. The news comes as lawmakers in several states are barred from downloading the platform. Those who have already installed it have been asked to remove it.
Source: Lobby statement
What do you think of this report? do you think it is relevant?
As TikTok promises US servers, FCC commissioner criticizes data privacy, TikTok is China’s surveillance tool
According to a study of 200 iOS apps, TikTok shares more of your data than any other social media app, and it’s unclear where it’s going.
ByteDance planned to use TikTok to track the physical location of certain individuals, accessing their geolocation data without their knowledge or consent.
TikTok confirms that US employees can decide what goes viral to promote celebrities and up-and-coming creators to the TikTok community