Controversial social networking app TikTok announced veteran attorney Erich Andersen will join the company as global general counsel, reporting to TikTok President Alex Zhu.
Andersen joins TikTok from Microsoft, where he spent over 20 years in a variety of roles, most recently serving as corporate vice president and chief IP counsel.
“Today’s announcement marks TikTok’s latest move in building out our global expertise in key areas such as compliance and IP protection,” Zhu said in a press release Jan. 24. “Erich is uniquely qualified to lead those efforts, building upon the strengths of our current legal team. His deep experience is an excellent asset as we work to further build trust with regulators, policymakers, users, and partners.”
Andersen’s appointment comes at a time of extra scrutiny for the app. TikTok is owned by Beijing-based company ByteDance and has recently received extra attention from the U.S. government as a potential national security risk. Over the course of the last month, it has been banned on the government-issued mobile devices of all U.S. military members upon recommendation from the Pentagon.
Senators Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) requested the intelligence community conduct an assessment of the national security risks posed by TikTok and other China-owned content platforms in the United States in October. Zhu was expected to meet with U.S. lawmakers last month over their concerns but opted to delay the meeting until “after the holidays.”
TikTok has more than 500 million active users worldwide.