Japan Shouldn’t Ignore TikTok’s Possible Data Risks, Amari Says

Japan shouldn’t ignore the possible data security risks posed by Chinese music video app TikTok, which various other countries have pointed out, a senior ruling party official said.

“Not only President Trump but also other countries such as the U.K. and India, are gradually becoming aware of the risks,” Akira Amari, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s tax panel chief, said on Fuji Television Network on Sunday. “Since there’re so many countries pointing out the risks, Japan cannot just stand by and watch.”

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday ordered ByteDance Ltd., the Chinese owner of TikTok, to sell its U.S. assets. Trump cited national security grounds, delivering the latest salvo in his standoff with Beijing. India in June took sweeping action to ban TikTok and dozens of other Chinese apps.

Japanese companies should assume that partnerships with Chinese firms could lead to data being leaked, Amari said. If sensitive technologies are compromised, that poses a risk because Japan will be removed from the global supply chain that shares the common values of freedom, democracy and the rule of law, he said, adding that “Japan is the country with the least sense of crisis.”

In July, Amari said that a LDP group is set to probe the risks associated with Chinese-developed apps, and the time had come to consider what effect such software would have on national security, adding that the U.S. was urging other countries to look at the issue from the same perspective.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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