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TikTok CEO Says Company is "Not an Agent of China or Any Other Country"; Protests Over the Government`s Plan to Overhaul the Pension System. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired March 24, 2023 - 04:00   ET


COY WIRE, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hello, hello, hello. We made it. Friday is here. The most wonderful time of the week. And it`s been an awesome one. We`ve

had some fun, learned a lot, and I`ve even got to meet one of you from Booker T. Washington Magnet High School in Montgomery, Alabama. What`s up,

Asha (ph)? And Dr. Simone Thomas, thanks for making us part of your class each and every day.

All right, we`re starting today with the latest news from Capitol Hill, where the CEO of TikTok is facing withering criticism from lawmakers. The

app, which has a reported 150 million users in the United States alone, is facing a potential U.S. ban over national security concerns. This stems

from the fact that its parent company, ByteDance, is based in China. And on Thursday, some lawmakers made their case at the TikTok congressional



REP. CATHY M. RODGERS, (R) CHAIR, ENERGY & COMMERCE COMMITTEE: We do not trust TikTok will ever embrace American values, values for freedom, human

rights, and innovation. TikTok has repeatedly chosen the path for more control, more surveillance, and more manipulation. Your platform should be



WIRE: Now, the CEO, Shou Chew, is pushing back hard, saying the app is not a vehicle for the Chinese government to spy or spread propaganda in the

United States, and that its new security model has American users data being stored in America by an American company. Here`s part of his

testimony yesterday.


SHOU CHEW, TIKTOK CEO: The bottom line is this, American data stored on American soil by an American company overseen by American personnel. We

call this Initiative Project Texas. That`s why Oracle is headquartered. Today, U.S. TikTok data is stored by default in Oracle service only vetted

personnel operating in a new company called TikTok. U.S. data security can control access to this data.


WIRE: Let`s go to CNN Business Writer Clare Duffy for more.


CLARE DUFFY, CNN BUSINESS WRITER: Yeah, it does sort of feel like deja vu from 2020. We were having a lot of these same conversations about whether

TikTok would be banned in the U.S. except for now it is so much more popular than It was even back then.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here`s what you need to know about TikTok and why there`s so much pressure to ban it.

SEN. JOHN THUNE (R) SOUTH DAKOTA: But I`m particularly concerned about TikTok`s connections to the Chinese Communist Party, which repeatedly --

DUFFY: So, there are range of concerns about TikTok, but the main concern is really rooted in TikTok`s connection to China. TikTok`s parent company,

ByteDance is based in China, and lawmakers are concerned that the Chinese government could use that connection to access U.S. user data.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: TikTok collects a range of data from its users, including users location, IP addresses, what type of device they`re using,

and even what users are typing on their keyboards. Under Chinese Communist Party laws, the Chinese government can demand TikTok hand over that data.

DUFFY: And so it`s really a range of data, and some of it, you could say, you know, what is the Chinese Communist Party really going to do with what

kind of device I`m accessing TikTok on? But I think the concern is that some of that information, like location data, could be used for

intelligence operations for certain folks using the app. That`s why a lot of state governments have banned government officials from using the app on

their phone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Those concerns aren`t without merit. In December of 2022, ByteDance admitted that employees within the company had accessed the

personal data of at least two foreign journalists, including information about their location.

OLIVER DOWDEN, CHANCELLOR, THE DUCHY OF LANCASTER: We are also going to ban the use of TikTok on government devices.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The U.S. government, it`s military, multiple state governments, the E.U., U.K and Canada have all restricted the use of TikTok

on government devices, citing security concerns.

DUFFY: There`s also a concern that the Chinese government could force TikTok to spread propaganda to U.S. users, and that would affect users much

more broadly than just government officials.

VANESSA PAPPAS, TIKTOK`S CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER: We have never shared data with the Chinese government, correct.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With the Chinese Communist Party?

PAPPAS: Yes, correct.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: TikTok`s Chief Operating Officer told Congress that the company would not give US. User data to the Chinese government, but avoided

saying whether or not its parent company, ByteDance, would do the same.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s not the point. That`s not my question. That`s not my question. My question is, does any employee who has access to U.S.

user data, are they members of the Chinese Communist Party? You won`t answer that question?

PAPPAS: And again, as a Global Tech --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: China has said numerous times that fears about the government`s influence are overblown.

WANG WENBIN, SPOKESPERSON, CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY (through translation): So far, the United States has been able to provide any evidence that TikTok

is a national security threat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the end, it`s pretty safe to say that if TikTok was owned by a U.S.-based company, you wouldn`t be hearing anything at all

about national security concerns, after all, many apps on your phone are already collecting similar data that TikTok does, including your location.

DUFFY: It`s a question of how much you`re comfortable with your data being shared with any app? I think it`s a question that people should be asking

about all of their app usage, and you should be paying attention to, you know, the settings that you have in your apps. Do you -- how much do you

allow your apps to access your location data or your contacts? Are you comfortable with that? I think this is something that people should be

thinking about with TikTok, but also beyond TikTok, with all the apps that they use on their phones.


WIRE: Ten-second trivia.

What`s the largest country in Western Europe?

The United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, or France?

At over 200,000 square miles, France is about the size of one and a half California`s or two Colorado.

We`re heading to France now where the country continues to face ongoing protests over the government`s plan to overhaul the pension system. The

government wants to change the national retirement age from 62 to 64 and the government says the current system is already not economically

sustainable and says that citizens are living longer now. So something needs to change.

Here`s CNN`s Senior International Correspondent Sam Kiley on the ground in Paris with more.


SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Violent protests, garbage on the streets and two no confidence votes, President Macron`s plan

to overhaul the French pension system has caused uproar.

But why all the fuss? As France`s population ages and the French live longer, the government here says that it can`t afford the pension scheme

that allows retirement at 62, so it`s raising the majority pensionable age to 64. Opponents of the reform argue that the changes will hit blue collar

workers because they start work earlier in life and women unfairly.

The opposition has been vocal and strikes have hit across the country since mid-January. Parisian streets have been choked with 10,000 tons of rubbish

as a result of a garbage collector`s strike. But public transport and even the oil industry have been affected. Aside from the content of the reform,

many in France have been upset by the manner in which they`ve been rammed through without parliamentary support.

Fearing that the law wouldn`t secure a majority vote for pension reform in the National Assembly, Macron`s Prime Minister invoked a constitutional

mechanism that allows the President to force fiscal legislation onto the statute book without a vote, and that sparked nationwide demonstrations and

violence in Paris, especially. On Monday, the government survived two national assembly no confidence votes.

The bills are now likely to become law, and Macron faces opposition from the French far right, the far left and a sizable chunk of the center. And

the angers against the reforms show no signs of ending and could hobble his second term in the Elysee Palace.


WIRE: Today`s story getting a 10 out of 10, it`s unbearably cute. How would you like to become a professional bear hugger? Yep, that`s right.

It`s plausible to get paid to give literal bear hugs. The details of New Mexico Department of Game and Fish`s job listing for conservation officer

includes the willingness to crawl into bear dens and hug baby bears like this one. Look at those cute little paws.

But my question is, wouldn`t mama bear be a little upset about this? I`m cool. I`m going to just stick with virtual bear hugs and air hugs to all of

you. Shout out today going to the Hong Kong International School. What`s up, Milan (ph)? Thanks for subscribing to our CNN 10 YouTube page. And also

thanks to Ms. McCann`s class at Fuquay-Varina in North Carolina. Rise up and thanks for my sweet tea. Go bangles.

Today is Friday lovely people. Remember you are more powerful than you know. I`m Coy Wire. It`s been a blessing to spend this week with.