(PatriotWise.com) – While members of Congress have been working to restrict the Chinese-based video-sharing platform TikTok in the United States, lobbyists from both TikTok and its parent company ByteDance visited the Biden White House eight times between July 2021 and August 2022, according to White House visitor logs reviewed by the Washington Examiner.
While the visitor logs do not shed any light on the reason for the visits, according to Kara Frederick, the director of the Heritage Foundation’s Tech Policy Center, the visits are “unequivocally” worrisome.
Frederick, who previously headed up Facebook’s Global Security Counterterrorism Analysis Program, told the Washington Examiner that these lobbyists “are doing the dirty work of the Chinese party state.”
The Chinese government owns at least a one percent stake in ByteDance, which former employees have admitted feeds information to the Chinese Communist Party.
Last month, TikTok admitted that ByteDance spied on American journalists as part of an effort to track down their sources within the company, an internal email revealed.
The employees used the IP addresses of journalists on TikTok in an attempt to determine if they were in the same location as TikTok employees suspected of leaking confidential information. Ensnared in the unsuccessful operation were former Buzzfeed reporter Emily Baker-White and Financial Times reporter Cristina Criddle, among others.
Additionally, ByteDance Editor-in-Chief Zhang Fuping also serves as the secretary for the company’s Communist Party committee, which works to ensure that ByteDance aligns with Beijing, according to Foreign Affairs.
The Washington Examiner previously reported that during the summer of 2022, both TikTok and ByteDance spent over a million dollars on lobbying efforts in Washington. Those lobbying on behalf of the company include dozens of former congressional staffers, former members of Congress, and a former senior advisor for Donald Trump’s presidential campaigns.
Texas Republican Congressman Lance Gooden blasted the White House for providing “unfettered access” to lobbyists for ByteDance and TikTok, telling the Washington Examiner that the president “must stop cozying up to Chinese companies and start putting our national security and American citizens first.”
Copyright 2023, PatriotWise.com