The New York Times announced today that Kevin Mayer, who recently led the successful global launch of Disney+’s new platform, has assumed the role of CEO of TikTok as chief operating officer of its China-based parent company, Baitans. These concerns are likely to impede TikTok’s future expansion and the company is keen to get rid of them, but existing regulations still suggest that TikTok, under the leadership of the Chinese owner Bytedance, is obliged to provide user data to the Chinese government if requested. These problems began almost immediately, U.S. Senator Josh Hawley said TikTok now has a local director based in the U.S. who will chair congressional hearings on whether and how TikTok collects data and shares it with the Chinese government. TikTok has repeatedly stated that it does not store data about U.S. users in China, although many security officials are unsure. That’s why ByteDance is now in the Cayman Islands tax haven, which may be another way for TikTok to distance itself from Chinese government associations. If TikTok owns the data and ByteDance has been asked to make it available, it is likely that TikTok will have to do so regardless of where the data is technically stored. Last month, the UK Department of Defence issued an internal directive that TikTok could not be used by workers, noting that the request is likely to be affected by the Chinese regime, while the US and Australian military have issued a similar ban on the request. Again, TikTok will say it does not store data about US users in China – but that may not matter. This rule is part of China’s cybersecurity law, which requires all Chinese companies to comply with the Chinese government’s request for user data upon request and without any doubt. Late last year, the Australian Institute for Strategic Policy published a report stating, among other things, that TikTok was “using its global influence to advance the Beijing political agenda. But maybe TikTok is also working on a technical issue, as already said – maybe Meyer is in a situation where TikTok is based in the Cayman Islands, which means there is no basis for that. Wow, TikTok must have offered Kevin Mayer a lot of money to take on this role. TikTok’s new Director of Information Security, Roland Cloutier, was indeed very cautious about he including this element in the his introductory role, where he designated his immediate priorities. “Although we already have controls in place to protect user data, we will continue to focus on adding new technologies and programs to protect the movement, circulation and access of data around the world. Either way, sales will be difficult and Meyer will move into a role with both commercial and political implications, especially given the uncertain U.S.-China trade situation and allegations about the cause of the current VIDOC 19 outbreak. But in any case, Meyer, who received a base salary of over $1.25 million from Disney, will now move to TikTok.