China’s Communist Party (CCP) has been accused of spying on Hong Kong activists and protesters who used TikTok, the popular short-video app owned by ByteDance, a Beijing-based company.

According to a lawsuit filed by a former ByteDance executive in a US court, the CCP had access to a “god credential” that allowed them to bypass any firewall or data protection measures implemented by ByteDance and view the personal information and activities of TikTok users, especially those who posted “protest-related content” in Hong Kong.

The lawsuit alleges that the CCP used this information to track and identify the activists and supporters of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, as well as to influence the content and algorithm of TikTok to promote its political agenda.

The lawsuit also claims that ByteDance engaged in illegal data scraping from other platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat, and that the former executive was fired for raising concerns about these practices.

The lawsuit contradicts ByteDance’s previous statements that it does not share user data with the Chinese government and that it operates independently from its parent company. ByteDance has denied the allegations and called them “baseless”.

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