TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew confirmed in a speech to US lawmakers that the company has never shared US user data with Chinese authorities. Reuters with reference to a prepared transcript of his speech. Even if there were such requirements from the security services, the owners of the social network would not agree, the head of TikTok emphasizes in a statement.
“TikTok has not disclosed US user data to the Chinese government, nor has it received similar requests. Would not TikTok and fulfill such request if ever made”, – emphasizes Show Tzu Chu. He added that ByteDance’s parent company is not owned or controlled by the government. “Let me be clear: ByteDance is not a representative of China or any other country.” – noted in the transcript of the speech of the head of TikTok. The current version of this application doesn’t even collect information about users’ approximate geographic location.
It is noted that 60% of ByteDance stock is owned by global institutional investors such as Blackrock, General Atlantic and Sequoia, another 20% is controlled by the company’s founders and employees own the remaining 20%. Among the last group of shareholders there are many US citizens, their number is literally measured in thousands of people.
The head of the company rejects the US government’s proposed ban on TikTok in this country, as it offers an effective alternative in the form of moving the entire information infrastructure related to the processing of user data to the US under the control of Oracle Corporation. Representatives of the latter have already started analyzing the software’s source code and have unprecedented access to data models and associated algorithms, according to the TikTok boss.
US user data processed by its own data centers in Virginia and Singapore has started to be deleted as information flows containing US user data now traverse Oracle’s server infrastructure. The migration process will be completed later this year. As recently announced, TikTok now has 150 million monthly active users. The average user of this social network in the United States is an adult citizen who has long graduated from educational institutions. Although US users make up only 10% of the global TikTok audience, they account for 25% of all content views worldwide.