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The fix has been rolled out and is available in our latest release build – 24.1.1 for Win and 24.1 for Mac which is available worldwide now.
What’s new in 24.1: https://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/using/whats-new.html
You can update to the latest release using Creative Cloud desktop App: https://helpx.adobe.com/in/creative-cloud/help/creative-cloud-updates.html
Thank you for all the feedback.
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Confirming that this works, finally!!
1. Add a linked, bitmap asset to an Illustrator artboard.
2. Create a mask with the object (eg. draw a box over the top of the bitmap and ⌘+7 or Ctrl+7)
3. Drag the masked image to the Asset Export panel
4. Export the asset as PNG or JPG
Voilà! No extra white space around the masked image. The image is exported and cropped to the mask boundaries.