Estimated reading time 2 minutes 2 Min

TikTok has never shared US data with Chinese govt: CEO

TikTok’s CEO will face US Congress amid security concerns over the app, and will insist it has never shared US user data with China’s government.

March 23, 2023
By David Shepardson
23 March 2023

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew will tell US lawmakers the Chinese-owned short video app with more than 150 million American users has never, and would never, share US user data with the Chinese government amid growing US national security concerns.

“TikTok has never shared, or received a request to share, US user data with the Chinese government. Nor would TikTok honour such a request if one were ever made,” Chew will testify on Thursday, according to written testimony posted on Tuesday by the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee.

He says 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 say to the committee.

TikTok’s critics fear that its US user data could be passed on to China’s government by the app and prompted growing calls to ban the app by US lawmakers. 

Last week, TikTok said the Biden administration demanded that its Chinese owners divest their stake in the app or it could face a US ban.

“Bans are only appropriate when there are no alternatives. But we do have an alternative,” Chew’s testimony says.

TikTok has said it has spent more than $US1.5 billion ($A2.3 billion) on what it calls rigorous data security efforts.

Chew says 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.”

TikTok says more than 150 million people in the United States use TikTok on a monthly basis after saying in 2020 that 100 million Americans used the app.

Chew’s testimony says the average user today is an adult well past university age.

More in Top Stories