CLICHY, France — L’Oréal SA said it may review how much money it spends on TikTok depending on how privacy concerns regarding the app’s links to China play out.
“We are monitoring the situation very closely and we will adjust our policy depending on the evolution of the situation.” Jean-Paul Agon, chief executive officer of L’Oréal, said in a Bloomberg TV interview, describing the current debate over TikTok as very “volatile.”
“We don’t want of course to partner with apps that have a problem with privacy of course. So we will do what we have to do following our code of ethics.”
TikTok has come under scrutiny over its ties to China. The US Department of Justice should investigate whether the app popular with Millenials and younger generations has violated the constitutional rights of Americans by sharing private information with the Chinese government, two senators wrote in a letter to the agency on Thursday.
L’Oréal and the beauty industry as a whole are major spenders for ad campaigns on various media platforms from TV to magazines and social media. There are more than 100 million views on TikTok with the L’Oréal hashtag, where users typically give tutorials about new makeup or hair products. Some will typically do it for free while some influencers with an important number of followers will be paid by the brands to promote such products.
TikTok has repeatedly rejected accusations that it feeds user data to China or that it is beholden to Beijing, even though its parent company, ByteDance Ltd., is based there.
TikTok is under a national security review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, known as CFIUS.
By Caroline Connan and Angelina Rascouet.