TikTok CEO Shou Chew speaks on data protection at ‘Qatar Economic Forum, Powered by Bloomberg’

TikTok CEO Shou Chew speaks on data protection at ‘Qatar Economic Forum, Powered by Bloomberg’ By A Robin - May 23, 2023
TikTok CEO Shou Chew

TikTok CEO Shou Chew

Shou Chew, CEO of TikTok, sat down with Caroline Hyde, Anchor, Bloomberg Television, at the third  ‘Qatar Economic Forum, Powered by Bloomberg’, which opened today under the high patronage of His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar.

As part of session two of the Forum on ‘A New Global Growth Story’, Chew highlighted:

•    "TikTok is not available in Mainland China today. As we have said many times, the Chinese government has never asked us for US user data, and we will not provide it, even if asked. Beyond that, over the last two years, we have built something internally called Project Texas. This project ensures that American data is stored on American soil by an American company and overseen by American personnel. This is truly an unprecedented project that none of the other companies in our industry have ever attempted. We believe that we have taken steps that go above and beyond what our industry has done to protect the safety of US user data, which is very important." 

•    "Project Texas is a very complicated project, and a lot of the elements are already in place and operational. For example, today, by default, all US data is stored in the Oracle servers already and no longer in our servers. Separately, Oracle has begun to source the review of the code, although, as you can understand, it is a complicated project that would take time. Oracle and ourselves are working together with the US government to finalize the details for Project Texas."

•    "There are conversations now in the EU and in the US and other countries around the world about what they call 'data sovereignty.' Making sure that certain elements of protected data are stored and handled in a particular way in each region. This is something where we are, I believe, ahead of the curve. Project Texas in the US is really sort of a project that deals with digital sovereignty in the US. And because we have so much learning from that project, we started Project Clover, a very similar project for Europe, a few months ago. The idea is very similar, we are building our data centers in Ireland, in Norway, localizing the storage of data in Europe, building additional data access protocols, adapted for GDPR. We need to address the desire for digital sovereignty while also making sure we do not break the internet and continue to enjoy the benefits of a seamlessly connected world." 

•    "AI is a very interesting development in the industry and of course there are many companies leading in this, and we are still in the process of making sure we understand and study this. The current progress of AI is truly very exciting, it is fascinating, and from everything that we have seen so far, it could quite profoundly improve our productivity. It is a great tool for us to make our daily lives a lot better, including the creation of videos. TikTok is about inspiring creativity and bringing joy, and you can imagine using some of these creative tools for people to express themselves in better ways than before." 

•    Hear more about Chew’s comments here.

Produced by Bloomberg Live and editorially programed by Bloomberg News, the Forum is livestreamed on Bloomberg TV and bloomberg.com. 

For more information about the speakers and Forum program, please visit QatarEconomicForum.com 

By A Robin - May 23, 2023

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