(Yicai Global) Jan. 12 -- Beijing Bytedance Technology Co.'s news aggregation app Toutiao has denied rumors that it spied on users through their cellphones and expressed hope that regulators will conduct a thorough inspection of its products to prove its innocence.
Authorities ordered platforms that three of China's top internet firms operate to resolve alleged user privacy violations and called on officials from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.'s search engine Baidu, Ant Financial Services Group's third-party online payment platform Alipay and Toutiao to discuss relevant issues yesterday, China Securities Network reported.
Toutiao said that it told MIIT that its platform is free of such problems. The company has reported rumors to authorities and applied for an investigation.
Earlier this year, some users had claimed on social media that Toutiao may privately use cellphone microphones to record conversations so it can push relevant news, advertising and other information on users accordingly.
China's main internet regulator instructed AliPay (China) Internet Technology Co. and Zhima Credit Management Co. to review their data collection practices following a controversy over a new service agreement on Alipay.
The app displayed a one-line agreement when users tried to access their annual payment reports for last year. The platform checked it by default, thereby increasing the likelihood that users would unknowingly assign certain data usage rights to Alipay and Zhima Credit.