How China-linked espionage is hindering TikTok’s U.S. future

Sam Sabin, author of Axios Codebook

TikTok’s biggest problem isn’t its data security programs, it’s the race between the U.S. and China to become the world’s dominant cyber superpower.

The big picture: Chilling relations between the U.S. government and Beijing have only made lawmakers more wary of the capabilities China-backed hacking teams are brewing — and what classified U.S. data they’re collecting.

  • The 2014 hacks of the Office of Personnel Management, which several firms linked to China, opened up the U.S. cyber community’s eyes, Bryan Cunningham, former adviser to the White House National Security Council, told Axios.
  • Since then, China state-sponsored hackers have launched hundreds of wide-scale espionage campaigns in the U.S. to collect corporate secrets, sensitive communications and much more.
  • The Chinese military under President Xi Jinping has also prioritized online influence campaigns that spread pro-China narratives, Kenton Thibaut, a resident China fellow at the Atlantic Council, told Axios.
  • “In the past few years, China saw this real need to respond to what it saw as Western attacks on it, so it wanted to gain control of the narrative,” she said.

Read the full story at Axios