TikTok CEO: US data has never been shared with Beijing

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TikTok CEO: US data has never been shared with Beijing

Movie app TikTok has never shared U.S. user data with the Chinese government, or received a request to share it. The subsidiary of the Chinese company ByteDance would also not honor such a request if it ever happened, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew will declare before a committee of the US Congress on Thursday.

Movie app TikTok has never shared U.S. user data with the Chinese government, or received a request to share it. The subsidiary of the Chinese company ByteDance would also not honor such a request if it ever happened, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew will declare before a committee of the US Congress on Thursday. (CTK)

“Let me say this unequivocally: ByteDance is not an agent of China or any other country,” reads a written elaboration of comments by Singaporean Chew that has already been made available.

It is the first time that TikTok’s CEO has appeared before a committee of the US Congress. He does so because of the increasing concerns about the Chinese app. American politicians, especially Republicans, are afraid that TikTok is sharing data with the Chinese government and using the app for propaganda and manipulation.

Longer under fire

TikTok has long been under fire for its ties to the Chinese government and the amount of information the app collects about its users. Recently, the US Foreign Investment Commission (CFIUS) reportedly even demanded that ByteDance sell TikTok or that TikTok be banned in the US.

The issue has sparked tensions between the US and the Chinese government. The US should stop “unjustified attacks” on TikTok, a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry said earlier this month. According to him, Washington would have “so far not provided any evidence” for the allegations.

Forced sale

TikTok itself believes that a forced sale offers no solution at all. The social media company would like to take measures to allay concerns within the US about national security. That plan includes enlisting US tech company Oracle to manage US user data and appointing a US-approved board of trustees.

According to Chew, TikTok has already spent $ 1.5 billion on the measures. In the US, 1500 employees would have been engaged to implement the plans.

The comments already released also indicate that Chew will express disguised criticism on rival American social media such as YouTube and Facebook on Thursday. TikTok “is not the platform of choice for individuals who want to engage in harmful behavior,” the TikTok boss will emphasize in Congress.


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