TikTok CEO Takes to App To Rally US Users Against Ban
TikTok's fate in the U.S. has never been more in question than it is today.
With lawmakers seemingly getting closer to banning the app in the country, CEO Shou Zi Chew is appealing to American users to help it continue normal operations. The Singapore-based executive's plea comes ahead of his appearance on Thursday in Capitol Hill, where he's to address the security concerns surrounding the app in front of Congress.
"I’ll be testifying before Congress later this week to share all that we’re doing to protect Americans using the app," said Chew in the short clip he posted on TikTok.
He claims the app, which is owned by Beijing-based tech giant ByteDance, now has over 150 million active users in the U.S. from 100 million in 2020. The app, according to him, also hosts around five million businesses in the country. "That’s almost half of the U.S. coming to TikTok to connect, to share, to learn or just have some fun," he added.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee reportedly plans to grill Chew about TikTok's privacy practices, among other security concerns. The app has been accused of feeding user data to Beijing and spreading propaganda due to it being owned by a Chinese company.
"Americans deserve to know the extent to which their privacy is jeopardised and their data is manipulated by ByteDance-owned TikTok’s relationship with China," said the House Committee in a press release. "What’s worse, we know Big Tech companies, like TikTok, use harmful algorithms to exploit children for profit and expose them to dangerous content online."
Chew's testimony in Congress could be pivotal to whether or not TikTok would be banned in the U.S. The company was previously depending on an agreement with a government interagency group to continue operating, but that has since fallen apart. The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee has also voted in favour of a bill that would give President Joe Biden the power to ban the app. It also comes amid growing pressure on the international stage to ban the app, with the European Union, Canada, New Zealand and the U.S. all enforcing a ban on the app on government-issued devices.
TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew has taken to the short-form video app to appeal to American users to help it fight the U.S. ban.
The Singapore-based executive's plea comes ahead of his appearance on Thursday in Capitol Hill, where he's to address the security concerns surrounding the app in front of Congress.
He claims the app now has over 150 million active users in the U.S. from 100 million in 2020.