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March 23, 2023

TikTok’s CEO to Defend the App Before US Congress

Shou Zi Chew’s first appearance before the congress

As Tik Tok’s expansion and influence in the U.S. increase, with them Congress’ concerns regarding the role of the popular social media platform. The Republican-led House Energy and Commerce Committee will conduct a hearing on the Chinese company's statement today, and TikTok's CEO, Shou Zi Chew, will deliver an official speech. Although Chew will likely have to deal with interruptions from several members of Congress, he will probably try to reassure the American public that TikTok is safe and that fears relating to its ties to the Chinese Communist Party are unfounded.

“We welcome the opportunity to set the record straight about TikTok, ByteDance, and the commitments we are making to address concerns about US national security before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce,”

- outlines Brooke Oberwetter, a spokesperson for TikTok

According to Chew's initial statements released before the hearing, the company will protect minors, strengthen its privacy policies, and prevent foreign entities from accessing American user data without consent. In response to the raised concerns, Chew explains that TikTok has never divulged any information about American users to the Chinese government. According to the CEO, TikTok would refuse to cooperate with China if it were to request access to American data.

“I understand that there are concerns stemming from the inaccurate belief that TikTok’s corporate structure makes it beholden to the Chinese government or that it shares information about U.S. users with the Chinese government,”

- comments Shou Zi Chew

“This is emphatically untrue.”

In the previous year, an internal inquiry within the company verified reports that staff members at the Beijing headquarters of TikTok planned to monitor the TikTok activity of American journalists to uncover the origin of internal leaks. It was reported last week that different federal agencies were investigating this occurrence.

“Americans deserve to know the extent to which their privacy is jeopardized and their data is manipulated by ByteDance-owned TikTok’s relationship with China,”

- says McMorris Rodgers, the Committee Chair Cathy

In fact, the disagreement is widening as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has stated that prohibiting TikTok would violate individuals' First Amendment rights to freedom of speech. During a prior hearing, when Vanessa Pappas, the COO of TikTok, testified before lawmakers, they were dissatisfied with her repeated claim that ByteDance was not a Chinese corporation. It is about to be revealed how the conflict will end, and much depends on Shou Zi Chew's word deliberation.

Elitsa Kaleva
Elitsa Kaleva
Content Writer at TechNews180
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