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TikTok goes on Australian recruiting drive despite fears about Chinese firm's use of personal data

Social media giant TikTok has put aside threats to its legal status to launch a mass recruiting drive in Australia.

The popular video platform, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, launched its first Australian office in June and is advertising over 20 full-time positions in Sydney. 

The company is looking to hire marketing and growth professionals to ‘foster Australian content’. 

The local investment came shortly after Australian Vanessa Pappas took over as interim chief executive of the global company.

Chinese social media giant TikTok (logo pictured above) opened its first Australian office in June and has launched a massive recruitment campaign in Sydney

Chinese social media giant TikTok (logo pictured above) opened its first Australian office in June and has launched a massive recruitment campaign in Sydney

The video platform is hiring professionals in advertising, communications, marketing and growth (Virgin Australia flight attendants pictured dancing in a TikTok video)

The video platform is hiring professionals in advertising, communications, marketing and growth (Virgin Australia flight attendants pictured dancing in a TikTok video) 

The hiring also came at a time when Tik Tok’s international operations were under threat from national governments, concerned that the Chinese parent company was using the app to mine users’ personal information.

It was banned in India, and U.S. President Donald Trump had ordered that the Chinese owners must sell the U.S. operations to another company in order to continue operating in that country.

A TikTok spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia the platform was focused on growing operations within ‘priority markets’ like Australia 

‘This includes hiring the right local talent to support the Australian TikTok community across the content, operations and commercial side of the business.

‘We are also investing further in our local users, creators, and brands. 

‘We see huge opportunities to further scale at a rapid pace in Australia and this continues to be a priority market,’ the spokeswoman said.    

TikTok was launched across 2017 and 2018, based off its Chinese counterpart Douyin, and features short user-generated videos. 

The company claims it would refuse to share personal data, even though the Chinese government can compel businesses to share information with them. 








TikTok has come under fire due to concerns that sensitive user information and data could be shared with Chinese authorities (Australian cricketer David Warner pictured in a TikTok)

TikTok has come under fire due to concerns that sensitive user information and data could be shared with Chinese authorities (Australian cricketer David Warner pictured in a TikTok) 

Samantha Hoffman, an analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said Australian users needed to be wary of the information that could be taken. 

‘It’s not about a video that you’re going to put up on TikTok of you dancing that’s going to be a target. 

‘Rather it’s things like your facial data or your sentiment data, about how you or other members of your society think and how you can be influenced,’ she told ABC News.  

TikTok (phone app pictured above) said Australian data is safely stored in Singapore and the United States and the company limits the number of employees with data access

TikTok (phone app pictured above) said Australian data is safely stored in Singapore and the United States and the company limits the number of employees with data access 








Ms Hoffman warned Australians to be vigilant about ‘how pieces of information about you and the society that you live in are collected’.     

TikTok said it was working to ‘minimise data access across regions’ and Australian information was safely stored in Singapore and the United States. 

‘We will continue to drive our goal of limiting the number of employees who have access to user data and the scenarios where data access is enabled.  

‘We will continue to focus on adding new technologies and programs focused on global data residency, data movement, and data storage access protections worldwide,’ the TikTok spokeswoman said.   

Australian Vanessa Pappas, who worked as TikTok’s general manager in the US, Australia and New Zealand, has been appointed the interim head of TikTok.  

She announced her new position as CEO on Friday after Kevin Mayer, who joined from Disney, quit less than three months into the job.   

TikTok has also expanded its Australian team and announced Ollie Wards, former content director at Triple J, as the first local director of music.  








Australian Vanessa Pappas (pictured) was appointed interim head of TikTok on Friday

Australian Vanessa Pappas (pictured) was appointed interim head of TikTok on Friday 

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