The Chinese Communist Party’s Hand in TikTok
Chinese Communist Party (ccp) leaders have conducted inspections of some of TikTok’s most sensitive data, Forbes reported on Wednesday. The inspections covered vast amounts of internal information for the Chinese app that has become the most popular in the world.
Feishu, another app run by TikTok creator ByteDance, holds nearly all of TikTok’s internal communication. Forbes reported that the ccp inspected the data ahead of its National Congress last year.
This is the first report revealing a direct level of access by Chinese government officials to a product that hosts some of TikTok’s most secret information, and the documents show that—at least for now—TikTok remains reliant on its parent company ByteDance’s systems, which are subject to Chinese regulatory control.
The news serves as a another reminder that ccp officials understand the power TikTok has over habitual users. They are determined to harness that power to weaken China’s enemies.
Targeting young Americans: Statista found that in 2022, American children spent an average of 113 minutes per day on TikTok. This is considerably more than any other app.
While on TikTok, young Americans are almost certain to see:
- Content that consistently portrays America in a bad light
- Great quantities of pro-Hamas, anti-Israel material
- Great quantities of pro-Russia and pro-China propaganda
- Endless “woke” messaging
- Content that promotes impulsiveness, covetousness, selfishness and shallow thinking
For these reasons, Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas said last year that TikTok is clearly a weapon used by the Chinese Communist Party to “corrupt young Americans and teach them to hate their country.”
Heroin vs. spinach: Journalist Rikki Schlott agrees with this view. “TikTok is burrowing into the devices—and the brains—of teens and tweens around the world” and is “aggressively exporting the social media equivalent of heroin,” she wrote.
This is Beijing trying to influence American politics. TikTok [is] a dagger pointed at the heart of the United States.
—Gordon Chang, senior fellow at the Gatestone Institute
Meanwhile, the version of the app that the ccp allows its own young people to use is starkly different. “The algorithm is vastly different, promoting science, educational and historical content in China, while making our citizens watch stupid dance videos with the main goal of making us imbeciles,” said Nicolas Chaillan, former chief software officer for the United States Air Force.
It’s almost like they [the Chinese leadership] recognize that technology is influencing kids’ development, and they make their domestic version a spinach version of TikTok, while they ship the opium version to the rest of the world.
—Tristan Harris, founder of Center for Humane Technology
Bringing down the U.S.: The ccp’s recent inspections show that China’s rulers are intent on pulling TikTok’s levers in a way that maximizes the impact of this “opium.” China is increasingly determined to end the era of U.S. global dominance. It is using every method it can, including TikTok, to hasten that outcome.
Late educator Herbert W. Armstrong wrote that Communist ideologies are a form of psychological warfare that “we don’t understand or know how to cope with.” It is specifically engineered to “weaken us from within, sapping our strength, perverting our morals,” he said.
Learn more: Read our Trends article “Why the Trumpet Watches the Moral Decline in Britain and America.”