TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew says some U.S. data may still be accessible for ByteDance employees

on Mar 23, 2023
  • Shou Zi Chew testified to the House Energy & Commerce Committee today.
  • Rep. McMorris Rodgers shared her view on TikTok on CNBC's "Squawk Box".
  • China’s Commerce Ministry confirms that it’ll oppose a forced sale of TikTok.

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TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew says employees at ByteDance – the China-based parent of the short video app may still have access to U.S. user data.

Rep Rodgers says TikTok is a threat

Testifying to the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Thursday, Chew confirmed that they’ll lose that access once Project Texas is complete. As part of the said risk mitigation plan, TikTok started deleting data from its servers in Virginia and Singapore last week.

Once it’s completely removed, ByteDance employees will no longer have access to U.S. user data, the chief executive added. Still, Rep. McMorris Rodgers said today on CNBC’s “Squawk Box”:

TikTok has been caught repeatedly in lies about its connection to ByteDance and ultimately to the Chinese Communist Party. TikTok is a threat and can’t be trusted with our data and to protect children’s mental health.

China’s take on the recent developments

The Biden Administration is currently pushing ByteDance to sell its stake in TikTok for the social platform to avoid a ban in the United States. But China’s Commerce Ministry this morning said it’ll oppose such a forced sale.

TikTok currently has 150 million active users in the U.S. Speaking with CNBC, Rep Rodgers added:

The legislation we’ve been working on would restrict TikTok, big tech, and other data brokers from collecting all this data to begin with, it would stop the profiling, it would protect our kids online.

Also on Thursday, Alex Capri (Research Fellow at Hinrich Foundation) said Beijing would prefer a U.S. ban on TikTok over letting the platform fall in the U.S. hands.


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