Statement from company boss: “TikTok has never given US data to China”

Status: 03/22/2023 07:51 a.m

Has TikTok shared US user data with China? TikTok CEO Chew denies the allegation ahead of a hearing before the US Congress and asserts his company will never do so.

Shortly before a hearing in the US Congress, details of the statements made by the company boss Shou Zi Chew become known. In a written statement that evening, Chew is quoted as saying, “TikTok has never disclosed US user data to the Chinese government, or received a request to do so.” Also, TikTok would not comply with such a request if it were ever made, the paper said.

“ByteDance not under China’s control”

TikTok parent ByteDance is not owned or controlled by any government or government agency, Chew said.

Let me be clear: ByteDance is not a representative of China or any other country.”

Instead, 60 percent of ByteDance is owned by global investors, Chew said, including Blackrock, General Atlantic and Sequoia. About 20 percent are owned by the company’s founders, another 20 percent by employees – “including thousands of Americans”.

Questioning Chews scheduled for tomorrow

The statement is intended to set out the line Chew is scheduled to take tomorrow when he is questioned before a US Congressional committee. The content is about a possible transfer of TikTok user data to the government in Beijing. In the USA, there are currently considerations to ban the app.

ByteDance recently admitted that employees had gained unauthorized access to user data. As a spokeswoman for the parent company in the United States had confirmed, the personal data of at least two journalists were affected. According to the company, four employees have now been laid off as a result of the incident.

TikTok ban on government phones

Several governments subsequently banned the use of TikTok on company cell phones – including Germany, the USA and Canada. According to the company, TikTok has more than 150 million users in the USA who open the app at least once a month. According to TikTok, these users make up ten percent of the total user base of the app.

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