According to a former head of engineering at Bytedance in the US, the company fired him after he complained to management about the company allegedly stealing user content from other platforms, primarily Instagram and Snapchat.
The conflict arises as calls for a nationwide ban on the ByteDance-owned app TikTok from some U.S. lawmakers grow in response to worries about possible Chinese government influence over it.
The Chinese technology company allegedly engaged in a “global scheme to steal and profit from the content of others,” according to Yintao “Roger” Yu’s complaint, which was submitted on Friday to a state court in San Francisco.
Higher management, according to Yu, dismissed his concerns when he brought them up and instructed him to keep the illegal programme a secret, especially from American workers who would be subject to more stringent IP laws and class action lawsuits.
In November 2018, ByteDance later fired him.
Yu claimed in the complaint that ByteDance helped the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) spread propaganda by fabricating users in order to inflate its metrics.
In order to stop ByteDance from stealing content from other social media sites, he is asking the court to issue an order.
According to ByteDance’s response to the complaint, “We intend to vehemently oppose what we believe to be baseless claims and allegations. Mr. Yu had a shorter than usual tenure at ByteDance.
In response to the allegations of data scraping, ByteDance stated that it collected data in accordance with industry standards and its global policy.
A bill to prohibit the use of its short-form TikTok app in Montana was approved by lawmakers in April.
Bipartisan concerns about the app’s influence over Americans led U.S. lawmakers to question TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew about potential Chinese influence in March. They claimed that the company’s short videos were harming children’s mental health.
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