Chinese Communist Party’s Covert Lobbying Sparks Concerns in US Congress Over TikTok’s Fate

Flag of China | Credits: AP Photo
Flag of China | Credits: AP Photo

United States: Within the esteemed halls of the US Congress, the secretive maneuvers of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) concerning TikTok have stirred deep concerns among those acquainted with the inner workings of Capitol Hill.

Insiders who are privy to the situation reveal that the Chinese Embassy has been holding covert discussions with congressional aides, aiming to counteract proposed legislation that could mandate the sale of TikTok or even risk its ban within the United States. These efforts, orchestrated by diplomats aligned with the CCP, represent a blatant attempt to influence US policymaking in favor of a Chinese tech giant.

Despite the strong support for legislation passed by the US House of Representatives in March, which aims to reduce TikTok’s influence due to national security worries and breaches of data privacy, Chinese officials have intensified their lobbying efforts, especially within Senate circles.

The secretive nature of these lobbying efforts is underscored by the fact that the initial discussions initiated by the Chinese Embassy didn’t mention TikTok’s involvement, raising concerns about the extent of China’s influence within American corridors of power.

The legislation bill, which, if implemented, would force ByteDance to sell off TikTok or face a ban in the US market within six months, has met heavy disapproval from the CCP, further coming right out in the open as a result of the app’s strategic errands of spreading Chinese propaganda and helping to throw soft power on the international stage.

Furthermore, China’s tactic to wield Congress members is reinforced by reports that Tiktok ran TV ads that cost $2.1 million on important election battleground states’ television, and their close proximity to the US’s electoral processes raises suspicion of foreign electoral interference.

Although Chinese TikTok initially sought to ease minds by claiming the company’s lie under the jurisdiction of ByteDance and pledging to keep the US data beyond China CCP’s reach, the whistleblowers had voiced their doubts, thus increasing the level of concern. Recent reports have shown that rumors of TikTok’s alleged move to distance itself from its Chinese masters might be just a front and that ex-employees have gone as far as to accuse the app’s involvement in a plan to collude between the workers in the ByteDance and the owners of the app, thus making TikTok’s data protection efforts look like they’re just mere facades and thereby.

In the face of these facts, Congress should not weaken its determination to address the matter of the national security people are interested in and make sure that they remain secured in the midst of the ominous presence of authoritarian regimes, for instance, the Chinese Communist Party. Whether to maintain the existence of TikTok will serve as a test of the might of the United States government in creating space for noninterference from outside sources and strengthening the pillars of democracy amid the increasing influence of the Chinese communist party.