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Home » TikTok CEO Shou Chew on Its Future – and What Makes Its Algorithm Different (Transcript)

TikTok CEO Shou Chew on Its Future – and What Makes Its Algorithm Different (Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of TikTok CEO Shou Chew’s conversation with the head of TED, Chris Anderson at TED2023.  

In a revealing conversation, Chris Anderson and Shou Chew delve into critical aspects surrounding TikTok and its operational ethics, particularly focusing on data privacy, user addiction, and content moderation. Shou Chew discusses Project Texas, an initiative to store American user data on U.S. soil with Oracle, aiming to alleviate fears about data access by the Chinese government.

He emphasizes that TikTok’s goal isn’t to maximize user screen time but to promote a healthy relationship with the platform, highlighted by measures like a 60-minute daily limit for users under 18. Addressing concerns of foreign interference, Chew assures transparency and third-party oversight to prevent misuse, aiming for a secure and manipulation-free platform. The conversation also touches on the vast content diversity on TikTok, from entertainment to educational content like BookTok, showcasing the platform’s potential for discovery and learning.

Chew’s vision for TikTok includes enhancing creative content through AI collaboration and connecting communities, underlining the platform’s commitment to safety and creativity. The dialogue concludes with an impromptu TikTok video, encapsulating the light-hearted yet impactful nature of the platform under Chew’s leadership.


CHRIS ANDERSON: It’s very nice to have you here. Let’s see. First of all, congratulations. You really pulled off something remarkable on that grilling; you achieved something that very few people do, which was, you pulled off a kind of, a bipartisan consensus in US politics. It was great. The bad news was that that consensus largely seemed to be: “We must ban TikTok.” So we’re going to come to that in a bit.

And I’m curious, but before we go there, we need to know about you. You seem to me like a remarkable person. I want to know a bit of your story and how you came to TikTok in the first place.

SHOU CHEW: Thank you, Chris. Before we do that, can I just check, need to know my audience, how many of you here use TikTok? Oh, thank you. For those who don’t, the Wi-Fi is free.

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