The TikTok executive in charge of the company’s recently formed US Trust and Safety team is leaving the company.
An internal memo, first reported by The Verge on Tuesday (May 2), announced that Eric Han would be leaving next week.
TikTok created a Trust and Safety team within its US Data Security division in December “to build further trust and confidence in the protection of US user data and compliance,” according to the company’s release at the time. Han, TikTok’s US head of safety, was tasked with leading the team.
TikTok’s interim general manager of US data security, Andy Bonillo, will step in as the temporary head of the Trust and Safety team as TikTok searches for a permanent replacement.
Why does the US want to ban TikTok?
The departure comes as US government pressure builds on TikTok over security risks related to the app’s ownership by a Chinese company, ByteDance. China’s national security laws require companies to cooperate with a broad range of security activities, raising the threat that data from US users could end up in Chinese government hands. TikTok has denied these allegations, and has previously stated that they would not provide data to the Chinese government if asked.
In March, federal officials demanded that TikTok’s owners sell their stake or risk facing a US ban.
On Feb. 27, the US ordered that TikTok be deleted from federal government devices. A wider ban, if implemented, would apply to all devices nationwide. The UK, Canada, the EU, France, New Zealand and Australia have likewise prohibited the app from government devices over security and intelligence concerns.
Quartz has reached out to TikTok for comment on the reasons for Han’s departure, and will update story with any additional information.