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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 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 workers at its dad or mum firm ByteDance should still 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, referred to as Challenge 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 difficult and time-consuming untangling the app from its Chinese language dad or mum firm will be.

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Lawmakers and intelligence officers worry that U.S. person information may get into the palms of the Chinese language authorities by way of ByteDance. That is as a result of Chinese language regulation 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 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 finished, the reply isn’t any,” Chew mentioned. “At the moment, there’s nonetheless some information 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. information 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 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. person information has been saved completely within the Oracle Cloud Surroundings, with protected information absolutely out of attain of any overseas authorities. That information is managed completely by U.S. Knowledge Safety—a TikTok subsidiary made up of People, led and situated in America—whose sole focus is to guard U.S. nationwide safety pursuits by securing U.S. person information and stopping exterior manipulation of our programs.”

TikTok mentioned Thursday that Challenge Texas is already in motion however there are lots of 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 information on these servers is the type that might theoretically nonetheless be accessed by China-based ByteDance workers in the intervening time.

As soon as that information is deleted, in keeping with TikTok, these workers will now not have entry to U.S. person 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. person information

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

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