TikTok has denied Congress MP Shashi Tharoor’s claim that it was allegedly collecting data and sharing it with China. Speaking in the Lok Sabha during the Zero Hour on Monday, Tharoor said there were reports that the Chinese government received data from TikTok. Needless to say, TikTok is a Chinese short video-making and sharing app.

“The federal regulators in the US recently slapped a fine of $5.7 million on TikTok for illegally collecting data on children,” he said. TikTok in a statement said, “These claims are simply untrue. The privacy and security of our users is a top priority for TikTok. We abide by local laws and regulations in the markets where we operate.”

TikTok further asserted that it “does not operate in the People’s Republic of China. Their government has no access to TikTok users’ data, nor does it have any existing partnership with China Telecom.” “Our Indian users’ data is stored in the US and Singapore at industry-leading third-party data centres,” it added. Owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, TikTok reportedly has nearly 200 million users in India.

Besides, a few weeks back, it was reported that TikTok’s developer ByteDance is developing its own smartphone. A few reports claim that the phone will offer apps, including TikTok, News Republic, and TopBuzz among others. Financial Times reported that two unnamed sources have claimed that the phone will also offer an unreleased music streaming service.

It has been ByteDance CEO Zhang Yiming’s long-standing aspiration to build a phone that will come with the apps from the company. The Chinese company and the phone making company Smartisan confirmed the presence of a deal between the two where ByteDance acquired patent portfolio and even hired some employees from Smartisan. ByteDance had previously claimed that the deal was made in order to “explore the education business.”

With inputs from IANS