TikTok CEO to inform Congress app is protected, urge towards ban

WASHINGTON – TikTok’s CEO plans to inform Congress that the video-sharing app is dedicated to person security, knowledge safety and safety, and retaining the platform free from Chinese language authorities affect.

Shou Zi Chew is because of reply questions Thursday from U.S. lawmakers involved concerning the social media platform’s results on its younger person base and possible national security risks posed by the favored app, which was based by Chinese language entrepreneurs.

Chew is sticking to a well-recognized script as he urges officials against pursuing an all-out ban on TikTok or for the corporate to be offered off to new homeowners.

TikTok’s efforts to make sure the security of its users’ data, together with a $1.5 billion mission to retailer the data on Oracle servers within the U.S. and permit outdoors screens to examine its supply code, go “above and past” what any of its rivals are doing, based on Chew’s ready remarks launched forward of his look earlier than the U.S. Home Committee on Power and Commerce.

“No different social media firm, or leisure platform like TikTok, supplies this degree of entry and transparency,” he mentioned.

Chew pushed again towards fears that TikTok may develop into a instrument of China’s ruling Communist Party as a result of its mum or dad firm, ByteDance, relies in Beijing.

“Let me state this unequivocally: ByteDance isn’t an agent of China or every other nation,” Chew mentioned.

He distanced TikTok from its Chinese language roots and denied the “inaccurate” perception that TikTok’s company construction makes it “beholden to the Chinese language authorities.“ ByteDance has developed right into a privately held “world enterprise,” Chew mentioned, with 60% owned by large institutional traders, 20% owned by the Chinese language entrepreneurs who based it and the remainder by staff.

It’s “emphatically unfaithful” that TikTok sends knowledge on its American customers to Beijing, he mentioned.

“TikTok has by no means shared, or obtained a request to share, U.S. person knowledge with the Chinese language authorities,” Chew mentioned. “Nor would TikTok honor such a request if one had been ever made.”

TikTok has come beneath hearth within the U.S., Europe and Asia-Pacific, the place a rising variety of governments have banned the app from devices used for official enterprise over worries it poses dangers to cybersecurity and knowledge privateness or might be used to push pro-Beijing narratives and misinformation.

Chew, a 40-year-old Singaporean who was appointed CEO in 2021, mentioned in a TikTok video this week that the congressional listening to comes at a “pivotal second” for the corporate, which now has 150 million American customers.

U.S. regulators have reportedly threatened to ban TikTok until the Chinese language homeowners promote their stake. Lawmakers have launched measures that may develop the Biden administration’s authority to enact a nationwide ban and referred to as for “structural restrictions” between TikTok’s American operations and ByteDance, together with doubtlessly separating the businesses.

Chew mentioned TikTok’s knowledge safety mission, dubbed Challenge Texas, is the correct reply, not a ban or a sale of the corporate.

The corporate began deleting the historic protected knowledge of U.S. customers from non-Oracle servers this month, Chew mentioned. When that course of is accomplished later this yr, all U.S. knowledge shall be protected by American legislation and managed by a U.S.-led safety staff.

“Underneath this construction, there isn’t a method for the Chinese language authorities to entry it or compel entry to it,” he mentioned.

He mentioned a TikTok ban would damage the U.S. economic system and small American companies that use the app to promote their merchandise, whereas decreasing competitors in an “more and more concentrated market.” He added {that a} sale “wouldn’t impose any new restrictions on knowledge flows or entry.”


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