TikTok’s difficult end to 2022 in the US, related to security tensions with China, continued right up to the wire. Just before Christmas, Reuters reported that TikTok was “offering to operate more of its business at arm’s length and subject it to outside scrutiny” in an effort to avoid a crackdown by the US government.
However, this charm offensive was immediately undercut – the same day – when it emerged that parent company ByteDance had fired four staff who had improperly accessed IP addresses and other data from the TikTok accounts of several western journalists who had been reporting on the company.
“The misconduct of those individuals, who are no longer employed at ByteDance, was an egregious misuse of their authority to obtain access to user data,” said the company.
Then, just after Christmas, TikTok was banned from all devices managed by the US House of Representatives, following a similar ban for government-issued devices.
It could be a sticky start to 2023 for TikTok in the US.