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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 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. knowledge from the app however added that will not be the case as soon as its danger mitigation plan, referred to as Venture Texas, is full.

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

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Lawmakers and intelligence officers concern that U.S. person knowledge may get into the arms of the Chinese language authorities by way of ByteDance. That is as a result of Chinese language legislation permits the federal government to acquire inside data from corporations based mostly 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. knowledge.

“After Venture Texas is completed, the reply isn’t any,” Chew mentioned. “At this time, there’s 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 “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 mentioned 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 knowledge has been saved solely within the Oracle Cloud Surroundings, with protected knowledge totally out of attain of any overseas authorities. That knowledge is managed solely 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 knowledge and stopping exterior manipulation of our techniques.”

TikTok mentioned Thursday that Venture Texas is already in motion however there are numerous steps to succeed in its completion. That features deleting knowledge from TikTok’s servers in Singapore and Virginia, a course of it started final week. The information 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, based on TikTok, these staff will now not have entry to U.S. person 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. person knowledge

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

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