“TikTok is a potential counterintelligence threat we cannot ignore,” two senior US senators wrote last year.
India — where TikTok is also wildly popular — recently blocked the platform on national security grounds following a deadly border clash between its soldiers and Chinese forces.
TikTok staunchly denies snooping allegations.
“We have never provided user data to the Chinese government, nor would we do so if asked,” a spokesman said on Wednesday.
TikTok has also faced questions on whether it hides videos from Hong Kong’s protests to appease the Chinese government.
Searches this week on TikTok for #democracy and #independence in Hong Kong came up with no videos, according to AFP research.
However some hashtags, including #nationalsecuritylaw and #HongKongindependence, did produce results.
A Tiktok spokesman denied any censorship.
“To be clear, we have no restrictions on political content, unless it violates our community guidelines, such as hate speech,” the spokesman told AFP on Wednesday.
“We do not remove videos on the basis of content negative toward China, including Hong Kong protest content.”
With TikTok’s future depending much more on factors outside Hong Kong and mainland China, its withdrawal from the territory could turn out to be a PR coup.