The increasingly popular social media application TikTok has a concerning relationship with the Chinese state. That link became ever the more concerning today, when reports began circulating of a brand new partnership between the company that owns TikTok, ByteDance, and the government of China.
ByteDance owns the video-sharing app TikTok, and has established a joint venture with a Chinese state media group, official registration documents show.
"The joint venture will focus on partnership in the digital rights of short videos," a ByteDance spokeswoman told Reuters in response to inquiries about the deal:
ByteDance, which is one of China's fastest-growing startups, has formed a series of partnerships with state media organizations in order to feed its leading news aggregator platform, Jinri Toutiao.
Under the latest deal, Beijing Liangzi Yuedong Technology Co Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of ByteDance, will own 49% of the new company, Pengpai Audiovisual Technology (Jinan) Co Ltd, with Shanghai Dongfang Newspaper Co Ltd holding the remaining 51% majority stake, the documents from the National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System showed.
Shandong-based Pengpai Audiovisual was established on Dec. 10 with a registered capital of 10 million yuan, according to the documents. Pengpai is the Chinese name of ThePaper.cn, an online newspaper published by Shanghai Dongfang.