The United States has ordered an investigation into the Chinese-owned social media app TikTok, several media outlets reported on Friday.
News of the probe comes after several US lawmakers called for an investigation into TikTok over concerns that the app could be used by China to spy on users, as well as accusations the company is censoring politically sensitive content.
The probe will be carried out by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), The New York Times and Reuters news agency reported, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter.
The government panel reviews acquisitions in the US by foreign companies.
In the review, investigators will be looking into the acquisition of TikTok’s predecessor app, the US social media app Musical.ly, by the Beijing-based company ByteDance in 2017.
The video sharing app is popular with millions of teens and young adults in the US, with around 60% of its monthly users in the US between the ages of 16 and 24.
On the app, users share short videos that are often set to music. Most of the videos involve users dancing, lip-syncing, doing pranks or sharing snippets of their daily lives.
TikTok said it could not comment on any ongoing regulatory processes, but said in a statement that it “has made clear that we have no higher priority than earing the trust of users and regulators in the US.”
Senator Marco Rubio welcomed the news, saying he’d sent a letter to CFIUS last month asking them to review TikTok.
“Because any platform owned by a company in China which collects massive amounts of data on Americans is a potential serious threat to our country,” the Republican lawmaker wrote on Twitter.