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TikTok CEO says China-based ByteDance workers 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 Photographs

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew advised U.S. lawmakers that China-based workers at its mother or father 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 trade is important as a result of it will get on the crux of U.S. officers’ fears about TikTok’s possession and likewise exhibits how difficult and time-consuming untangling the app from its Chinese language mother or father firm might be.

Lawmakers and intelligence officers concern that U.S. consumer information may get into the fingers 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 info from corporations 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 may at the moment entry U.S. information.

“After Mission Texas is finished, the reply is not any,” Chew mentioned. “At this time, there may be 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 “personal 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 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 information has been saved solely within the Oracle Cloud Atmosphere, with protected information absolutely out of attain of any overseas authorities. That information is managed solely by U.S. Knowledge 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 programs.”

TikTok mentioned Thursday that Mission Texas is already in motion however there are a lot of 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 type that might theoretically nonetheless be accessed by China-based ByteDance workers in the meanwhile.

As soon as that information is deleted, in accordance with TikTok, these workers 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 workers 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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