Tiktok: TikTok CEO to the US government: 4 reasons the app should not be banned

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew is set for a US congressional hearing on Thursday (March 23). Ahead of the hearing, the CEO of the Chinese company has posted a minute-long video to the ByteDance subsidiary’s official TikTok account asking users to defend the app. According to news agency Reuters, in his defence to lawmakers he will say that the company will never share user data with the Chinese government. There has been a growing demand in the US to ban the app amid national security concerns. TikTok’s critics fear that its U.S. user data could be passed on to China’s government by the app and prompted growing calls to ban the app. Most states in the country have already banned the app on government devices. TikTok has more than 150 million users in the United States. The company also claims that TikTok has 7,000 American employees.
Never shared, or received a request to share, US user data
“TikTok has never shared, or received a request to share, U.S. user data with the Chinese government. Nor would TikTok honour such a request if one were ever made,” Chew will testify, according to written testimony posted on Tuesday (March 21) by the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee.
TikTok not owned or controlled by any government
The testimony further claims that TikTok’s parent company ByteDance is not owned or controlled by any government or state entity. “Let me state this unequivocally: ByteDance is not an agent of China or any other country,” Chew will reportedly tell the committee. Chew’s testimony says 60% of ByteDance is owned by global institutional investors including Blackrock, General Atlantic, and Sequoia, about 20% by the company’s founders, and about 20% owned by its employees,” including thousands of Americans.”

Spent more than $1.5 billion data security
TikTok has said that it has spent more than $1.5 billion on what it calls rigorous data security efforts under the name “Project Texas.” Chew said that when the process is complete “all protected US data will be under the protection of US law and under the control of the US-led security team. Under this structure, there is no way for the Chinese government to access it or compel access to it.” He says that the current versions of the app do not collect precise or approximate GPS information from US users. The company further claimed it had started this month to delete US user protected data in data centres in Virginia and Singapore after it started routing new US data to the Oracle Cloud last year.
Banning the app is not the solution
“Bans are only appropriate when there are no alternatives. But we do have an alternative,” Chew’s testimony said.



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