Taiwan is looking into alleged criminal activity on TikTok

The owner of the Chinese-owned social media network TikTok has refuted allegations. It was alleged that it is running an unlawful subsidiary on the island. But Taiwan’s government has launched an investigation.

TikTok, which is not very popular in Taiwan, has faced criticism mostly from Americans. Americans are worried about China gaining access to user data, a claim the business vehemently refutes.

Taiwan’s China policy-making Mainland Affairs Council stated in a statement late on Sunday. It stated that a working committee under the Cabinet had found evidence that TikTok was suspected of “illegal commercial operations” in Taiwan on December 9.

According to Taiwan’s Liberty Times newspaper, ByteDance, the owner of TikTok. It has established a company on the island to advertise for business, violating Taiwanese legislation that forbids Chinese social media companies from conducting business there.

In response to that news, the Mainland Affairs Council stated that the Cabinet’s working group had determined that there was, in fact, a possible legal violation. Moreover that legal authorities were looking into it.


“In recent years, the mainland side has used short video platforms like TikTok to carry out cognitive operations and infiltration against other countries, and there is a high risk the Chinese government is collecting users’ personal information,” it added.

ByteDance, however, said that “recent reports” that it has established a subsidiary in Taiwan were false. “The company has not established any legal entities in Taiwan,” it said in an emailed statement to Reuters without elaborating.

TikTok lagged behind its competitors in Taiwan

Taiwan forbids various Chinese businesses from operating on the island, including social networking sites and the hugely lucrative chip manufacturing sector. According to the council, Taiwan has previously prohibited government agencies from using Chinese applications like TikTok.

The most popular social networking sites in Taiwan are Facebook and Instagram, owned by Meta Platforms. Although TikTok lagged behind its competitors in Taiwan, market research firms claim it is growing in popularity among young people.

As part of a multiyear effort to counter what many Taiwanese perceive to be Chinese attempts to influence politics and the democratic process, including through the covert sponsorship of politicians and the media, among other tactics, Taiwan approved an anti-infiltration law in 2019.

TikTok has experienced a boom in popularity since its inception in September 2016. Over one billion people use the brief video-sharing platform monthly in more than 150 nations. Moreover several networks have developed comparable services to challenge the company’s hegemony.

However, despite its undeniable popularity, TikTok is still a contentious topic in many areas of the world. While some nations have banned TikTok, others have either sought to do so or have imposed temporary limitations.