June 8, 2023

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We are not being manipulated by any government, including Beijing. Some US data is still available in China »

It’s really time for TikTok to show its cards. And Convince the United States that it does not pose a threat to national security and the privacy of the very young Users who spend hours and hours – daily – on a Chinese app. the CEO Xu Ziqiu was called to Testify before Congress Specifically before the Energy and Trade Committee – for the first time. The goal is to understand the relationship between TikTok and the company that created it, dance bytesBeside Managing the data of 150 million US users. “We will not be affected by any government,” Xu Qiu immediately specified in his opening speech. «Our social network is not censored and will not be manipulated by any government, including the Beijing government». American politicians – and this is to be expected – do not make the discussion easy. Constantly interrupting Shou Zi Chew’s reasoning increasingly sharp questions.

data node

Right before Xu Qiu’s speech, he took the floor Cathy McMorris Rodgers, House Energy and Trade Committee: «TikTok collects almost every imaginable data, From people by where they are, to what they type and copy, to who they talk to, biometrics, who they talk to, biometrics and more. We don’t think TikTok will ever embrace American valuesHe said. Qiu answered her Denial of Chinese government interference. He specified “no evidence” adding that it was their obligation “to this commission and all of our users” to stay clear of any manipulation. Although he admitted it Some US user data is still available to company employees in China: «There is some data that we still have to delete». Regarding data collection, he added: «Such data is usually collected by many other actors in our industry”, giving examples such as Facebook and Twitter. “We think you should have it Clear and transparent rules apply to all technology companiesHe suggested.

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The TikTok Plan: The Texas Project

according to Washington Post The Biden administration would like to ask the company Sell ​​the US side. The problem remains Property of ByteDance, which is a Chinese company – like all Chinese companies – must be subject to the laws of Beijing. that plan to transfer data stored on their servers if requested. TikTok’s response — weak, according to Democrats and conservatives, and reiterated by the CEO — calledTexas Projector commitment Bring all US user data to the US, in the servers of an American company – Oracle. A project that has already been invested in $1.5 billion which according to the CEO will be active Before the end of the year. also in Europe Do the same with Project Clover, which he plans to build Three servers in Ireland For the data of 150 million European users. Meanwhile, both the United States and the European Union – as well as a number of other countries – have banned civil servants from using the app on company smartphones. As the test was taking place, In Great Britain, it was decided to block access to it from the Parliament’s Internet network Chinese social network, while all officials are prohibited from downloading the application. About this CEO Xu Qiu said that “No social network should be installed on a government employee’s phone».

Content that causes “emotional stress” on young people

The other key point, which the US commission asked the CEO extensively for, is that one Contents Traveling on TikTok. To be a social network that young people use above allThe criticism leveled is that not enough is done to protect users, who often fall short. It’s contents that infectemotional stressAccording to American politicians. Cathy McMorris Rodgers herself said that after opening an account, within minutes the algorithm served up videos of eating disorders and self-harm, but also of serious challenges. Xu Zi Qiu’s answer: Society is doing a lot to protect young peoplealthough most users are over 18 years old.

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China: “Banning TikTok will hurt the United States”

A few days before the hearing, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce in Beijing, Xu Jieting, intervened in the matter, saying: A final ban on TikTok will only hurt investor confidence in many countries, including China, to the United States. «China resolutely opposes it»To sell the assets of the social network in the United States, he added.
On the other hand, however US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken – During TikTok’s CEO hearing in Congress – he stated The situation regarding the social network «must be closed somehow. However, there are several ways to do this.” He also reiterated that TikTok “is a threat to national security.”

Who is Xu Zi Qiu?

Born in Singapore in 1983, Xu Ziqiu is a forty-year-old businessman He grew up in an international context. He attended university in London and then there Harvard Business School. He even did an internship at what was still a startup company, but had already connected to Facebook. His career began in London at Goldman Sachs, and then moved to Chinafirst for Xiaomi and then in the ByteDance ecosystem, where he started investing in 2013. He reached the upper floors, as CEO of TikTok in 2021after that Founder Zhang Yiming (whose name was not mentioned during the hearing) Quit suddenly. According to analysts, his dismissal may have been due to a series of pressures from the Beijing government. In any case Shou Zi Chew has always kept a low profilealbeit in recent months His contacts have changed. On his official TikTok account on March 21 — two days before the hearing — he posted a video from Washington in it Announce cheerfully – “I am so excited.” – Achievement 150 million users in the United States. Including 5 million works. This achievement comes at a crucial moment. Some politicians have started talking about banning TikTok. This could take TikTok away from 150 million of you. I will testify before Congress to explain what we are doing to protect Americans who use the app».

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