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Ex-executive of TikTok parent firm claims China had access to data stored in US

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United Nations: A former executive for ByteDance, the parent company of the popular social media application TikTok, claims the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) had access to all company data, including information stored in the United States, The New York Times reports, citing the ex-employee’s lawsuit.

Yintao Yu, the head of engineering for ByteDance’s US operations from August 2017 to November 2018, made the allegations as part of a wrongful dismissal suit filed on Friday in San Francisco Superior Court, the report said. The complaint alleges the CCP had a special unit of its members at ByteDance’s offices in Beijing, referred to as the “Committee” that “guided how the company’s advanced core Communist values” and had the controls to shut down the Chinese apps.

“The Committee maintains supreme access to all the company data, even data stored in the United States,” the filing read, as quoted by the newspaper.

The ex-executive claims he was fired because he voiced concern over what he described as a “worldwide scheme” to steal and capitalize on content from rival social media companies, the newspaper said. Yu also alleges ByteDance “systematically created fabricated users” to boost engagement indicators.

The company reportedly said in a statement that it would “vigorously oppose what we believe are baseless claims and allegations in this complaint,” noting that the plaintiff worked for them for less than a year and left office in 2018. The complaint seeks punitive damages, lost earnings and 220,000 shares of the company,

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