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TikTok CEO says China-based ByteDance staff nonetheless have entry to some U.S. information

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew arrives to testify earlier than the Home Power and Commerce Committee listening to on “TikTok:

Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Photos

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew advised U.S. lawmakers that China-based staff at its mum or dad firm ByteDance should have entry to some U.S. information from the app however added that will not be the case as soon as its danger mitigation plan, known as Undertaking Texas, is full.

The change is critical as a result of it will get on the crux of U.S. officers’ fears about TikTok’s possession and in addition exhibits how difficult and time-consuming untangling the app from its Chinese language mum or dad firm could be.

Lawmakers and intelligence officers worry that U.S. person information may get into the palms of the Chinese language authorities through ByteDance. That is as a result of Chinese language legislation permits the federal government to acquire inside data from firms primarily based there for purported nationwide safety functions, as CNBC has reported.

Throughout Chew’s much-anticipated testimony earlier than the Home Power and Commerce Committee, Rep. Bob Latta, R-Ohio, requested Chew if any ByteDance worker in China may at present entry U.S. information.

“After Undertaking Texas is finished, the reply is not any,” Chew mentioned. “At the moment, there may be nonetheless some information that we have to delete.”

Later within the listening to, in an change with Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Mich., Chew denied it shares U.S. information with the Chinese language Communist Social gathering, saying that TikTok is a “personal enterprise” that, like many others, depends on a “international workforce.”

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In response to a request for remark final week a few comment made in a Wall Avenue Journal article that TikTok represents a Chinese language espionage operation, a TikTok spokesperson mentioned in an announcement there was “no fact” to the allegation.

The spokesperson added on the time that “Since October of 2022, all new U.S. person information has been saved solely within the Oracle Cloud Surroundings, with protected information absolutely out of attain of any overseas authorities. That information is managed solely by U.S. Knowledge Safety—a TikTok subsidiary made up of Individuals, led and positioned in America—whose sole focus is to guard U.S. nationwide safety pursuits by securing U.S. person information and stopping exterior manipulation of our techniques.”

TikTok mentioned Thursday that Undertaking Texas is already in motion however there are lots of steps to achieve its completion. That features deleting information from TikTok’s servers in Singapore and Virginia, a course of it started final week. The info on these servers is the sort that would theoretically nonetheless be accessed by China-based ByteDance staff in the interim.

As soon as that information is deleted, in keeping with TikTok, these staff will now not have entry to U.S. person information from the app.

— CNBC’s Rohan Goswami contributed to this report.

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WATCH: TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew: I do not condone effort by former staff to entry U.S. person information

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew: I don't condone effort by former employees to access U.S. user data

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