By Steven Allen Adams, The Intelligencer
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A state senator is raising concerns about the data collection of certain popular social media applications with connections to the Chinese government, asking Gov. Jim Justice to keep these programs off state-owned computers and devices.
In a letter dated Monday, Senate Judiciary Committee Vice Chairman Ryan Weld, R-Brooke, asked Justice to issue an executive order to prohibit the use of TikTok, WeChat or other social media programs developed by ByteDance Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. on state-owned computers, cell phones and tablets.
TikTok is a social media program that allows users to share short videos. WeChat is a social messaging and phone call app similar to Facebook Messenger. TikTok was developed by ByteDance while WeChat was developed by Tencent Holdings. Both companies are headquartered in China.
The popularity of TikTok, WeChat and other similar apps has exploded in recent years, with children, teens and young adults flocking to the programs. These apps have also drawn the attention of state and local governments looking to reach a younger audience. But as the popularity of these apps has grown, so have concerns about the data these apps collect being used by the Chinese government to steal information or manipulate audiences…