TikTok’s essential product selections are nonetheless managed from China staffers / Digital Info World

Bytedance, a Beijing-based technology startup, owns TikTok and also operates a Chinese version of the site called Douyin. TikTok and Douyin are two different companies. They store their data in different places and follow different rules and business processes. TikTok is geared towards the international market with the data stored in Singapore and the US, while Douyin mainly focuses on the Chinese local market and the data is maintained in China. However, as the site has come under increasing criticism in the West, TikTok switched to emergency mode by de-sinicizing. While consumers post videos on TikTok from the comfort of their home, the company is actively parting ways with Beijing.

China has been trying for months to get its booming internet industry under control with an increasing number of antitrust enforcement and data security investigations. According to company documents and people familiar with the situation, the Chinese government discreetly acquired a holding company and board seat in TikTok owner’s main Chinese firm, ByteDance, in April, according to company records and people familiar with the matter.

The promotion will provide Beijing with additional information on ByteDance, the world’s richest private internet company, which powers several of China’s most popular applications, including Douyin and Toutiao and TikTok. The government’s access to a position on a three-person board of directors at Beijing ByteDance Technology Co. Ltd., which holds Chinese business licenses in Douyin and Toutiao, raises concerns about how much more control Beijing has over ByteDance overall.

Aside from the product selection, according to two current employees, certain activities are handled by the Beijing headquarters, such as: Because some decisions about TikTok’s product strategy require feedback from Beijing employees, TikTok employees outside of China are often invited to late-night meetings. In a YouTube video that received over 150,000 views, another former employee who left TikTok in October after serving as a product supervisor described the power imbalance between teams in the US and Beijing.

H / T: Insider.

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