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Senators Call For Probe Of Zoom, TikTok Over China Ties: Report

‘We are extremely concerned that Zoom and TikTok have disclosed private information about Americans to the PRC and engaged in censorship on behalf of the Chinese government,’ two U.S. Senators wrote.

Lawmakers have asked the U.S. Justice Department to investigate videoconferencing giant Zoom and video sharing service TikTok over their relationship with China, Reuters reported.

The bipartisan effort from Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., comes in response to national security and civil liberties concerns stemming from the ties the two companies allegedly have with the Chinese government, according to Reuters.

“Based on numerous reports, we are extremely concerned that Zoom and TikTok have disclosed private information about Americans to the PRC and engaged in censorship on behalf of the Chinese government,” Blumenthal and Hawley wrote in the letter Thursday.

[Related: Zoom Wants To Harness Google Cybersecurity Service To Protect Users: Report]

Zoom’s stock is down $3.25 (1.29 percent) to $249.14 per share in trading Thursday following the Reuters report.

“Zoom is an American company, founded and headquartered in California, incorporated in Delaware, and publicly traded on NASDAQ (ZM),” said a Zoom spokesperson. “We take user privacy, security, and trust extremely seriously, and as always, we welcome conversations with officials about our global business practices and policies.”

A TikTok spokesperson said in a statement that “our content and moderation policies are led by our US-based team in California and aren‘t influenced by any foreign government, and we publish information about how our recommendation system works. TikTok US user data is stored in the US with a backup in Singapore with strict controls on employee access. We’ve never shared TikTok user data with the Chinese government, and would not do so if asked. Period.”

Zoom was reported in June to be in talks with Google‘s cloud division to use the tech giant’s cybersecurity services to add another layer of protection for its 300 million daily meeting participants, The Information reported.

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