During a recent House hearing discussing the national security threat of China-controlled TikTok, Democrat Rep. Anna Eshoo (CA) called out the social media company’s CEO for his “preposterous claims.”
TikTok CEO Shoi Zi Chew, claimed that the Chinese government does not have access to TikTok data, despite owning TikTok’s parent company ByteDance.
“I have seen no evidence that the Chinese government has access to that data,” Chew said.
“I find that, actually, preposterous,” Eshoo replied.
TikTok CEO on Americans’ Data: “I have seen no evidence that the Chinese government has access to that data.”
REP. ESHOO: “I find that, actually, preposterous.”
— ALX ???????? (@alx) March 23, 2023
Chew’s comments contradict those of “a former ByteDance employee with direct knowledge of TikTok’s operating practices,” who revealed that China can easily access U.S. data through ByteDance and TikTok.
The whistleblower alleged, “TikTok and ByteDance employees – including members of the Chinese Communist Party known to be on ByteDance’s payroll – can switch between Chinese and U.S. data with nothing more than the click of a button,” a press release from Sen. Josh Hawley’s office explained.
“TikTok and ByteDance employees use tools that allow for easy access to U.S. data. Some tools only require approval from a manager and a dataset owner before a China-based employee can access U.S. data,” the whistleblower also alleged, adding, “TikTok coordinates activities with its Chinese parent company, ByteDance. They use the same data analysis tools and chat apps, and managers are in constant contact.”
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