French Senate to open commission of inquiry into TikTok

TikTok app is seen on a smartphone in this illustration
TikTok app is seen on a smartphone in this illustration taken, July 13, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

PARIS, Feb 9 (Reuters) - The French Senate will open a commission of inquiry into Chinese social media company TikTok to look into its use and strategy of influence, according to a statement from senator Claude Malhuret's office.

The commission of inquiry will aim to shed light on whether TikTok promotes certain content in some parts of the world, excluding China, in order to undermine its foreign users or not, according to Claude Malhuret, the lead senator on the topic.

It will also look into the platform's obligations in terms of protecting personal data.

China's popular social media app is under scrutiny in Europe where it is likely to be subject to stricter EU online content rules because its number of active users exceed a threshold set out under the Digital Services Act (DSA).

The online platform is also facing critics in the United States where a U.S. House panel plans to vote next month on a bill aimed at blocking its use in the U.S.

The commission, approved last night by a conference of the presidents of political groups in the Senate, will start working from March 1 with 19 members of the Senate.

Reporting by Marine Strauss, Blandine Henault; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Benoit Van Overstraeten

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.