TikTok’s Beijing-based parent company ByteDance wants to separate the short-form mobile video and live video streaming platform from its China-based operations.
That’s according to a report published by Reuters yesterday (November 27), which, citing people familiar with the matter, states that the Chinese tech giant has ‘stepped up efforts’ to do so ‘amid a US national security panel’s inquiry into the safety of the personal data it handles.’
Last month, in a letter addressed to Senator Marco Rubio, the National Music Publishers’ Association called for Government “scrutiny” of TikTok, writing that the video-sharing platform has “consistently violated US copyright law and the rights of songwriters and music publishers”.
The NMPA’s letter was issued in response to a request sent by Senator Rubio to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to launch an investigation into ByteDance’s $800-million plus acquisition of music karaoke app Musical.ly in 2017, over censorship and privacy concerns.
“The Chinese government’s nefarious efforts to censor information inside free societies around the world cannot be accepted and pose serious long-term challenges to the U.S. and our allies,” wrote Rubio in his letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
In 2018, ByteDance folded Musical.ly into TikTok, which has since been downloaded over $1.5 billion times.
Reuters’ sources also said that TikTok’s parent company already started to separate the app’s operations from its primary operations prior to the CFIUS investigation in order to reassign some of its workforce to TikTok.
TikTok is based in Los Angeles, with offices in London, Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore, Jakarta, Mumbai, and Moscow.
It was also reported last month that TikTok is poaching Facebook employees as it expands its workforce in California.
Meanwhile, ByteDance could be launching a Spotify rival as soon as December and is reportedly in the middle of negotiations for global licenses with Universal Music, Sony Music and Warner Music.
ByteDance was founded by software engineer Zhang Yiming in 2012 and is valued at around $75 billion.Music Business Worldwide