TikTok is losing its head of trust and safety in the US as the government weighs bans

Eric Han, TikTok’s head of trust and safety for the US, will leave the company on May 12, according to two people familiar with the matter and an internal staff memo I saw.

His departure comes while TikTok is still trying to strike a deal to avoid a ban by the US government. Han has been leading TikTok’s safety teams in the US for several years, and in December, he was named head of trust and safety at TikTok US Data Security (USDS), a separate entity set up to convince the government the app shouldn’t. It will be banned.

In the memo to employees announcing his departure, Andy Bonello, interim managing director of USDS, said he would “step in to lead T&S USDS on an interim basis” until “we identify Eric’s long-term replacement.” Bonillo’s headline already says “temporary” because TikTok’s USDS proposal has not yet been approved by the US government and will have the final say on who runs it. (I’ve reached out to TikTok’s communications department for comment and will update this story if I hear back.)

“Over the past four years, Eric has helped protect our American community through an incredible period of growth,” Bonello said in the memo. “We remain committed to delivering on our commitments to the TikTok community — both in the United States and around the world — as we continue to invest in trust and safety as a cornerstone of those efforts.”

TikTok’s fate in the United States looks more uncertain than ever right now, as states like Montana try to ban the app and a bipartisan Restrictions Act works its way through Congress. The Biden administration has sent smoke signals that TikTok’s USDS proposal is not enough to allay its national security concerns and that it will likely demand the complete disposal of TikTok from its Chinese parent company, ByteDance. The Chinese government clearly doesn’t like this idea, which, as the saying goes, puts TikTok between a rock and a hard place.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top