TikTok responds to Kudlow's suggestion it could operate as U.S. company

App owner 'ByteDance is evaluating changes to the corporate structure of its TikTok business'

TikTok responded Thursday to White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow's suggestion that TikTok could operate as a U.S. company.

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"I think TikTok is going to pull out of the holding company, which is China-run, and operate as an independent American company," Kudlow told CNBC in reference to TikTok owner ByteDance.

WHAT IS TIK TOK?

TikTok told FOX Business in response that it was "not going to engage with speculation in the market" but pointed to a company statement from last week indicating corporate changes.

Larry Kudlow, director of the U.S. National Economic Council, speaks to members of the media. (Stefani Reynolds/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

"As we consider the best path forward, ByteDance is evaluating changes to the corporate structure of its TikTok business," a TikTok spokesperson said last week.

IS TIKTOK DANGEROUS?

The spokesperson added that the company remains fully committed to protecting users' privacy and security and it builds "a platform that inspires creativity and brings joy for hundreds of millions of people around the world."

TikTok has come under the scrutiny of Congress and other administration officials, including Vice President Mike Pence and Defense Secretary Mike Pompeo, who said last week that U.S. officials take security concerns associated with the app "very seriously" and are "looking at" a U.S. TikTok ban.

TRILLER APP OFFERS TIKTOK ALTERNATIVE

Security and privacy concerns stem from China's 2017 National Security Law, which maintains that all Chinese businesses must comply with requests from the Chinese Communist Party for intelligence. Some tech experts and researchers have pointed out privacy flaws in the app's technology.

TikTok app displayed on iPhone / iStock

The app has nearly tripled its U.S. workforce presence over the last year, with many new U.S. jobs related to policy and privacy.

After receiving news that Amazon was considering banning the app on employee devices -- a stance the retail giant has since reversed -- a TikTok spokesperson said the company did "not understand their concerns," adding that the app welcomes "dialogue" to address "any issues" users may have.

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Wells Fargo, the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Army have banned members' and employees' use of the app.

Congress is expected to vote on a bill called the "No TikTok on Government Devices Act," which would ban the use of TikTok on government devices, next week.

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