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

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

Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Photographs

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew informed U.S. lawmakers that China-based staff at its mum or dad firm ByteDance should still have entry to some U.S. knowledge from the app however added that will not be the case as soon as its threat mitigation plan, referred to as Venture 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 tough and time-consuming untangling the app from its Chinese language mum or dad firm will be.

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Lawmakers and intelligence officers worry that U.S. consumer knowledge might 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 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 might at present entry U.S. knowledge.

“After Venture Texas is completed, the reply isn’t any,” Chew mentioned. “Right now, there may be nonetheless some knowledge 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. knowledge with the Chinese language Communist Occasion, saying that TikTok is a “non-public enterprise” that, like many others, depends on a “world workforce.”

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 mentioned in an announcement there was “no reality” to the allegation.

The spokesperson added on the time that “Since October of 2022, all new U.S. consumer knowledge has been saved completely within the Oracle Cloud Atmosphere, with protected knowledge absolutely out of attain of any overseas authorities. That knowledge 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. consumer knowledge and stopping exterior manipulation of our methods.”

TikTok mentioned Thursday that Venture Texas is already in motion however there are a lot of steps to achieve its completion. That features deleting knowledge 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 intervening time.

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

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

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