TikTok parent Bytedance confirms spying against Forbes journalists

TikTok parent company Bytedance has confirmed that an internal department has been actively spying on journalists from Forbes. The company has reportedly conducted investigations in at least three cases.

Bytedance is spying on Forbes journalists

TikTok’s parent company Bytedance allegedly spied on Forbes journalists to see if they met with company employees.

What has long been circulating on the Internet has now been confirmed by the company to Forbes. An internal investigation revealed that Bytedance employees spied on several journalists and exploited user data and IP addresses.

In the course of the undercover surveillance campaign, several journalists who have been reporting on the company and TikTok have been monitored with inside information for months. An internal investigation department accessed the data, Bytedance has now confirmed.

As a result, the department’s senior manager, Chris Lipitak, was fired. Song Yi, the senior manager in charge, who was based in China, was also dismissed. Bytedance CEO Rubo Liang forwarded the internal email to Forbes and, according to his own statements, only recently learned of the investigation.

Specifically, it includes user data of journalists Emily Baker-White, Kathryn Schwab, and Richard Neva, who previously worked at BuzzFeed News and wrote on Bytedance.

The internal investigation under the codename Project Raven began in the summer of 2022 after BuzzFeed News reported that TikTok had access to all user data of customers from the USA.