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Bipartisan senators seek TikTok's national security assessment

Sens. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Tom Cotton, R-Ark., sent a letter Oct. 23 to acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire, urging him to assess the national security risks posed by TikTok and other China-based content platforms operating in the U.S.

The duo expressed their concern regarding Chinese companies' compulsion to support and cooperate with intelligence work controlled by the Chinese Communist Party and asked the U.S. Intelligence Community to conduct an assessment of the national security risks posed by TikTok, a video app owned by Beijing ByteDance Technology Co. Ltd.

Even though TikTok does not operate in China and stores American user data in the U.S., the senators were concerned that ByteDance must still follow China's laws. The pair also raised the issue that TikTok could be a "potential target of foreign influence campaigns."

Earlier this month, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., asked the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. to conduct a full review of ByteDance's 2017 purchase of musical.ly Inc., a California-based video-sharing platform it later rebranded as TikTok.

TikTok is also being investigated in the U.K. over its handling of children's personal data.