‘Here to stay’: TikTok CEO defiant in face of bans | Privacy News


Shou Chew says app will ‘by no means present’ person knowledge to Chinese language gov’t and vows to combat ban in US state.

Doha, Qatar – TikTok is “right here to remain”, the video-hosting firm’s CEO Shou Chew has mentioned whereas terming the US state of Montana’s choice to ban it as “unconstitutional”.

Numerous governments and organisations have moved to ban the Chinese language-owned app on telephones utilized by their officers, with some arguing that person knowledge gathered by the app might be accessed by the Chinese language authorities.

Chew, who claimed his firm will win its lawsuit that it filed towards the ban by Montana, mentioned that among the app’s customers in the USA have additionally filed a separate lawsuit towards the ban, which is about to return into impact on January 1 subsequent 12 months.

“The Montana billing is just unconstitutional and we’re assured that we are going to prevail [in the lawsuit],” Chew mentioned on the Qatar Financial Discussion board in Doha on Tuesday.

Final month, Montana legislators handed a invoice to ban the app from working within the state by prohibiting cellular app shops from providing TikTok for obtain.

Chew claimed that the app has greater than 150 million customers within the US and greater than a billion all over the world. He added that it allowed customers a window to discovery and “free expression”.

“It [TikTok] is a really totally different expertise from the opposite apps which are accessible in the marketplace. Plenty of our customers use TikTok to seek out their communities and there are 5 million small companies within the US and tens of millions extra all over the world that depend upon TikTok,” he mentioned.

‘Right here to remain’

When requested to disclose his “plan B” in case TikTok is banned internationally, Chew mentioned the app serves tens of millions across the globe and is “deeply impactful”.

“It offers me confidence that we will have very considerate conversations with regulators all over the world – and we’re right here to remain.”

In March, the Singaporean head of the Chinese language expertise agency ByteDance appeared earlier than a US Congress committee and tried to dispel issues over the app’s ties to the Chinese language authorities and its alleged incapability to stem “dangerous” content material.

Chew mentioned it was a great alternative for the app to inform its facet of the story and make clear the “myths and misconceptions” about it, which he mentioned wasn’t accessible in mainland China.

“The Chinese language authorities has by no means requested for US person knowledge and we won’t present [it] even when requested,” Chew informed the viewers, a few of whom might be seen posting Chew’s speak on the app itself.

Knowledge safety plans

The 40-year-old businessman mentioned his firm has constructed an “unprecedented mission” known as “Mission Texas” to protect the data of its US-based users.

“American knowledge is saved on American soil by an American firm and overseen by American personnel,” mentioned Chew.

The $1.5bn plan, which he mentioned was “a sophisticated mission that might take time to complete” depends on contracts with the Texas-based tech firm Oracle and makes use of a “firewall that seals off protected person knowledge from unauthorised international entry”.

“We imagine that we have now taken steps which are above and past what our trade has accomplished to guard the protection of US person knowledge,” Chew claimed.

He revealed that the tech firm has been engaged on the same plan in Europe, known as “Mission Clover”, over the previous few months.

He warned that no tech firm might promise that 100% of its knowledge is secure from all threats.

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