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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 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 Mission Texas, is full.

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

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Lawmakers and intelligence officers concern that U.S. consumer information might get into the palms of the Chinese language authorities through ByteDance. That is as a result of Chinese language regulation 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 might at present entry U.S. information.

“After Mission Texas is finished, the reply is not any,” Chew stated. “Immediately, there may be 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 Occasion, 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 few comment made in a Wall Road Journal article that TikTok represents a Chinese language espionage operation, a TikTok spokesperson stated 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. consumer information has been saved solely within the Oracle Cloud Surroundings, with protected information totally out of attain of any international authorities. That information is managed solely by U.S. Knowledge Safety—a TikTok subsidiary made up of Individuals, led and situated 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 methods.”

TikTok stated Thursday that Mission 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 information on these servers is the type that would theoretically nonetheless be accessed by China-based ByteDance staff in the interim.

As soon as that information is deleted, based on 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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