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TikTok CEO said the company will never share US user data with China

TikTok US user data China
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TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew, who testified in front of the US Congress for the first time, stated that the short-video platform will never share US customer data with China. Nonetheless, the Congress appears to be more determined than ever to outlaw TikTok.

Chew, who spoke before dozens of House Energy and Commerce Committee members late Thursday, assured them that the company would improve privacy and avoid any risk of “unauthorised foreign access” to American customer data.

“I understand that there are concerns stemming from the inaccurate belief that TikTok’s corporate structure makes it beholden to the Chinese government or that it shares information about US users with the Chinese government,” Chew said.

“This is emphatically untrue,” he told the committee members.

“Let me state this unequivocally: ByteDance is not an agent of China or any other country,” Chew stressed.

Chew had previously alerted the TikTok audience of 150 million Americans about the restriction in an earlier video.

“Some politicians have started talking about banning TikTok,” Chew said. “Now this could take TikTok away from all 150 million of you.”

During the hearing, Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers stated that Americans have a right to know how their privacy is being violated and how “their data is being abused by ByteDance-owned TikTok’s ties with China.”

“What’s worse, we know Big Tech companies, like TikTok, use harmful algorithms to exploit children for profit and expose them to dangerous content online,” Rodgers told Chew.

The committee also grilled Chew on the steps TikTok is taking to protect children on the service.

The Joe Biden administration is reportedly demanding that TikTok’s owner, China-based ByteDance, sell its ownership in the short-video app or face a ban.

A group of 12 US Senators has introduced a new bill that now has White House support and could give President Biden the authority to prohibit TikTok nationwide.