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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 still 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 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 tough and time-consuming untangling the app from its Chinese language father or mother firm could be.

Lawmakers and intelligence officers concern that U.S. person knowledge 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 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 may at the moment entry U.S. knowledge.

“After Undertaking Texas is completed, the reply isn’t any,” Chew mentioned. “As we speak, 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 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 couple of 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 knowledge has been saved solely within the Oracle Cloud Surroundings, with protected knowledge absolutely out of attain of any international authorities. That knowledge is managed solely by U.S. Information 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 knowledge and stopping exterior manipulation of our techniques.”

TikTok mentioned Thursday that Undertaking 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 info on these servers is the type that might theoretically nonetheless be accessed by China-based ByteDance workers in the interim.

As soon as that knowledge is deleted, in keeping with 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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