With more than 150 million active users, TikTok is among the most popular apps in America. Yesterday the company’s CEO Shou Zi Chew made his first appearance before Congress, and the exchange did not go too well.
The agenda for this hearing was summarized by Rep. McMorris Rodgers’ statement…
“To the American people watching today, hear this: TikTok is a weapon by the Chinese Communist Party to spy on you, manipulate what you see and exploit for future generations.”
While this may seem bold and heavy handed, the onus was on Chew to quell this view.
For over five hours, Chew was repeatedly grilled by lawmakers who expressed deep concern about TikTok’s business operations in the United States, and the company’s ties to China.
Chew’s testimony denied the app shares data or has connections with the Chinese Communist Party. He argued the platform was doing everything to ensure safety for American users.
None of the lawmakers were buying it and offered no support for TikTok, as they deemed Chew’s answers on China evasive.
It is not clear how lawmakers will proceed after the hearing. There is bipartisan legislation in the works to give the administration a path to ban TikTok.
Chew’s testimony may have fast-tracked it.