China’s TikTok owner ByteDance boosted lobbying spending by 130 percent in second quarter

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Chinese-based company ByteDance, the owner of popular social media platform TikTok, spent $2.1 million on lobbying in the second quarter of 2022, boosted its lobbying spending by 130 percent, according to CNBC.

The company made the lobbying spending public in a disclosure the company filed on Wednesday.

The form lists the issues on which its representatives lobbied government officials.

It said the company lobbied on a number of issues related to internet technology and learning-enabled content platforms, including the following pieces of legislation: the United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021, the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, the America COMPETES Act of 2022, and the No TikTok on Department of Homeland Security Devices Act. 

It also lobbied on the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022.

CNBC, which obtained the document filing, reported that this was the first time the company hit the $2 million mark in a single quarter since registering for lobbying disclosures in 2019.

ByteDance also lobbied on a handful of online privacy issues and bills and discussed these matters with both chambers of Congress and federal agencies such as the State Department, Department of Defense, the Executive Office of the President, and Department of Commerce, the filing said. 

Bytedance has been under the microscope as as lawmakers shared their concerns over TikTok’s Chinese parent. Tiktok has added singer’s Beyoncé entire music catalog to its platform, and increased its storage of U.S. user data with its growing popularity. 

A Buzzfeed report from last month detailed that ByteDance’s employees in China have access to U.S. users’ private data. 

Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.), members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, wrote a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) earlier this month asking to investigate the social media platform over concerns that the platform is misleading the public on its data practices. 

“In light of repeated misrepresentations by TikTok concerning its data security, data processing, and corporate governance practices, we urge you to act promptly on this matter,” the lawmakers wrote in their letter. 

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