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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 Vitality and Commerce Committee listening to on “TikTok:

Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Pictures

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew instructed U.S. lawmakers that China-based staff at its dad or mum 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 Challenge Texas, is full.

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

Lawmakers and intelligence officers concern that U.S. person information may get into the arms of the Chinese language authorities by way of ByteDance. That is as a result of Chinese language regulation permits the federal government to acquire inside info from corporations based mostly there for purported nationwide safety functions, as CNBC has reported.

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

“After Challenge Texas is finished, the reply isn’t any,” Chew stated. “At the moment, there’s nonetheless some information that we have to delete.”

Later within the listening to, in an trade 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 “non-public enterprise” that, like many others, depends on a “international workforce.”

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In response to a request for remark final week a couple of comment made in a Wall Road Journal article that TikTok represents a Chinese language espionage operation, a TikTok spokesperson stated in a press release 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 completely within the Oracle Cloud Setting, with protected information totally out of attain of any overseas authorities. That information is managed completely by U.S. Information 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 methods.”

TikTok stated Thursday that Challenge Texas is already in motion however there are various 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 meanwhile.

As soon as that information is deleted, in accordance 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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