ByteDance Taiwan may have links to China: MAC | Jobs Vox


The investigation requested:
Taipei’s lack of action contradicts its verbal commitment to reduce the influence of Chinese technology firms in Taiwan, the DPP lawmaker said.

  • Chung Li-Hua and Jake Chung / Staff Reporter with Staff Writer

Authorities should investigate whether ByteDance Taiwan is affiliated with Beijing-based ByteDance Ltd (字節跳動), which would show whether they are abiding by the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Territory and the Mainland 條例), the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said yesterday. .

Article 73 of the act states that China-based social media software companies – which includes TikTok and its Chinese version Douyin (抖音) – are barred from setting up branches in Taiwan, the council said on Thursday.

Tiktoktaiwan Co Ltd (昇洋國際生技), registered in 2019, changed its registered name to ByteDance Taiwan (字節跳動台灣) on Nov. 2, Ministry of Economic Affairs records showed.

Photo: AP

The government’s lack of action contradicts its verbal commitment to reduce the influence of Chinese technology firms in Taiwan, said Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker Chiu Chi-wei (邱志偉).

Chiu cited the example of an investigation into China-based streaming media service iQiyi (愛奇藝), which took two years before a Taiwanese representative terminated its contract.

TikTok poses a greater information and national security risk than iQiyi, Chiu said, urging an urgent government investigation.

Taiwan Thinktank member Tung Li-wen (董立文) said the government should not allow software that poses a “great risk” to Taiwan and phase out such software throughout Taiwan.

Tung said enacting the new legislation could take a long and complicated process, but Taipei could use existing laws, such as the Consumer Protection Act (电影设计运动法), or the Criminal Code, to begin controlling content on the platform.

China Elite Leadership Association Secretary General Wang Chih-sheng (王智盛) said TikTok’s security risks are well known, citing Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita’s lawsuit against TikTok for misleading users about its age-appropriateness and protections for accessing US user data. about. by the Chinese government.

The US Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that would ban federal employees from using TikTok on government devices, and Taiwan should implement similar measures, Wang said.

Even if Taiwan cannot comply with all the restrictions the US has imposed against TikTok, Taipei should be able to use creative methods to “fight head-on” with the company, he said.

Such efforts would serve as examples for the international community, he added.

The most pressing issue to investigate is how the company managed to enter Taiwan despite the regulations, Wang said.

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