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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 Photos

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew informed U.S. lawmakers that China-based staff at its guardian 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 threat mitigation plan, known as Challenge Texas, is full.

The alternate is important as a result of it will get on the crux of U.S. officers’ fears about TikTok’s possession and in addition reveals how difficult and time-consuming untangling the app from its Chinese language guardian firm could be.

Lawmakers and intelligence officers concern that U.S. consumer information may get into the arms of the Chinese language authorities through ByteDance. That is as a result of Chinese language legislation permits the federal government to acquire inside info from firms primarily based 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 at present entry U.S. information.

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

Later within the listening to, in an alternate 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 “world 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. consumer information has been saved solely within the Oracle Cloud Setting, with protected information absolutely out of attain of any overseas authorities. That information is managed solely by U.S. Information Safety—a TikTok subsidiary made up of People, led and positioned in America—whose sole focus is to guard U.S. nationwide safety pursuits by securing U.S. consumer information and stopping outdoors manipulation of our techniques.”

TikTok stated Thursday that Challenge Texas is already in motion however there are various steps to succeed in 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 might theoretically nonetheless be accessed by China-based ByteDance staff in the interim.

As soon as that information is deleted, in line with TikTok, these staff will not have entry to U.S. consumer 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. consumer information

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

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