WASHINGTON: TikTok is planning to hire several federal and state public affairs staffers, a director of intermediary liability policy and a director of intellectual property policy with the company on the clock to find a buyer or be shut down in the U.S.
President Donald Trump has been critical of the wildly popular app, famous for its meteoric growth and its amusing short videos, and has called for TikTok to be banned due to security concerns. Governments around the world have expressed concern that TikTok, which is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, shares user data with the Chinese government.
The qualifications for the federal public affairs staffers include 10-plus years of public policy or government experience, five-plus years of internet policy experience and Capitol Hill, agency or administration experience.
State public affairs staffer requirements include more than 10 years of public policy or government experience, knowledge of the state legislative process and five-plus years of internet policy experience.
Duties for both jobs include advocating for policy positions that “benefit and protect the TikTok user community,” monitoring policy and legislative trends and articulating TikTok policy positions in “briefing papers, consultation responses and internal policy meetings.”
The federal staffers would be based in Washington, DC, while state staffers may work in California, New York or Washington, DC, according to a job ad posted on TikTok’s careers website.
The director of intellectual property policy must, among other requirements, have a juris doctor degree, six-plus years of policy experience and be published on IP policy or legislative issues. The director’s duties include developing and executing public policy initiatives, collaborating on IP issues and developing policy position papers.
The intermediary liability policy director also requires a juris doctor, six-plus years working on policy and published work on intermediary liability policy or legislative issues. This position will be drafting, editing and fact-checking documents, collaborating internally and externally on intermediary liability-related issues and developing policy position papers, among other duties.
Both directors would be based in Washington, DC. A TikTok representative was not available for comment about the job searches.
TikTok had also been searching for an executive to run communications, PR and global business, according to a job ad posted in April.
Software giant Microsoft has said it is "moving quickly" on a deal to purchase TikTok’s operations in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and Canada. The proposed deal would keep the video-sharing platform alive in markets where governments have serious concerns over users' security and privacy.
The app is also facing competition from a new product called Reels, which was launched by Instagram last week. Reels operates similarly to TikTok: users can record, edit, share and discover videos of up to 15 seconds.