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TikTok ban in US state Montana unconstitutional – CEO

TikTok ban in US state Montana unconstitutional – CEO

Shou Zi Chew, chief executive officer of TikTok Inc., speaks during the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore, on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022. The New Economy Forum is being organized by Bloomberg Media Group, a division of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News. Photographer: Bryan van der Beek/Bloomberg via Getty Images

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew said on Tuesday described the ban of TikTok in the US state of Montana as illegal and unconstitutional.

On Monday, the Chinese-owned corporation filed a lawsuit against Montana’s decision to prohibit TikTok from functioning in the state in order to safeguard residents from alleged Chinese intelligence collection.

“We believe that the Montana bill that was recently passed is simply unconstitutional,” Chew said at the Bloomberg-organized Qatar Economic Forum.

Concerns over potential Chinese government influence over the platform have prompted senators and state government officials in the United States to demand for a statewide ban on the video-sharing app, which is used by more than 150 million Americans.

“The Chinese government never asked us for U.S. users’ data and we will not provide even if asked,” Chew added.

Chew stated that his organisation has collaborated with Oracle (ORCL.N) to keep data for US users in the US.

“Today, by default, all US data is stored in the Oracle cloud service,” he stated.

“We have built over the last two years something we call internally ‘Project Texas’, which ensures that American data is stored on American soil by an American company and overseen by American personnel,” Chew continued.

In March, Chew was grilled by a congressional committee about whether the Chinese government could access user data or influence what Americans saw on the app.

Montana could punish TikTok with $10,000 for each violation and an additional $10,000 per day if it violates the ban.

Individual TikTok users are not subject to fines under the law.

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