Senators ask for intelligence inquiry into Chinese-owned TikTok app

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Tom Cotton want the U.S. intelligence community to look into the "national security risks" posed by the popular Chinese-owned app TikTok.

"With over 110 million downloads in the U.S. alone, TikTok is a potential counterintelligence threat we cannot ignore," Schumer, D-N.Y., and Cotton, R-Ark., wrote in a letter on Wednesday. "Given these concerns, we ask that the Intelligence Community conduct an assessment of the national security risks posed by TikTok and other China-based content platforms operating in the U.S. and brief Congress on these findings."

In this photo illustration, the social media application logo, Tik Tok is displayed on the screen of an iPhone on March 05, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)

They referenced the app's data collection and pointed out that TikTok's owner, ByteDance, is subject to Chinese laws. Schumer and Cotton added that TikTok reportedly censors content "deemed politically sensitive to the Chinese Communist Party."

"We have just seen the public copy of the Senators' letter and are carefully reviewing it," a TikTok spokesperson told FOX Business on Thursday. "We will not be offering any further comment on it at this time other than to reaffirm that TikTok is committed to being a trusted and responsible corporate citizen in the U.S., which includes working with Congress and all relevant regulatory agencies."

Schumer and Cotton are not the first lawmakers to zero in on the playful app that's popular with middle and high school students.

Earlier this month, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio called for the U.S. government to launch an investigation into TikTok. The Republican asked the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. to launch a broad review of TikTok's acquisition of another app called over national security concerns.


FOX Business' Megan Henney contributed to this report.