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TikTok CEO says China-based ByteDance workers 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 Pictures

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew informed U.S. lawmakers that China-based workers at its guardian 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 Undertaking Texas, is full.

The alternate 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 guardian firm could be.

Lawmakers and intelligence officers concern that U.S. consumer knowledge may get into the fingers 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 data 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 presently entry U.S. knowledge.

“After Undertaking Texas is finished, the reply isn’t any,” Chew stated. “Right this moment, there’s nonetheless some knowledge 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. knowledge with the Chinese language Communist Get together, 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 couple of 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 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 Setting, with protected knowledge absolutely out of attain of any overseas authorities. That knowledge is managed completely 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 knowledge and stopping outdoors manipulation of our programs.”

TikTok stated Thursday that Undertaking Texas is already in motion however there are lots of 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 type that would theoretically nonetheless be accessed by China-based ByteDance workers in the interim.

As soon as that knowledge is deleted, in line with TikTok, these workers 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 workers 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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