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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 Photos

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew informed U.S. lawmakers that China-based workers at its father or mother 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 threat mitigation plan, known as Challenge 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 tough and time-consuming untangling the app from its Chinese language father or mother firm could be.

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Lawmakers and intelligence officers worry that U.S. person knowledge might get into the arms of the Chinese language authorities through ByteDance. That is as a result of Chinese language regulation permits the federal government to acquire inside info from firms based mostly 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 presently entry U.S. knowledge.

“After Challenge Texas is finished, the reply is not any,” Chew mentioned. “In the present day, there may be nonetheless some knowledge 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. knowledge with the Chinese language Communist Occasion, saying that TikTok is a “personal enterprise” that, like many others, depends on a “world 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 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 completely within the Oracle Cloud Surroundings, with protected knowledge totally 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. person knowledge and stopping outdoors manipulation of our methods.”

TikTok mentioned Thursday that Challenge 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 info 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 response to TikTok, these workers will 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 workers 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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