March 23, 2023 320 Views




Tic Tok CEO Shou Chew will face the House Energy and Commerce Committee during his first appearance before Congress, in a hearing that kicks off at 10 a.m. ET. Chew, who is from Singapore, will testify on “TikTok’s consumer privacy and data security practices, the platforms’ impact on kids, and its relationship with the Chinese Communist Party,” according to a statement last week from committee.




In his prepared remarks, Chew is expected to issue broad promises to protect US user data, to keep teens safe and to remain free from any government influence. “Let me state this unequivocally,” Chew will say, according to a copy of his remarks released by a House panel. “ByteDance is not an agent of China or any other country.”


Lawmakers are renewing calls for the app to be banned in the United States due to perceived national security concerns because of its ties to China through its parent company, ByteDance. TikTok acknowledged to CNN last week that federal officials are demanding the app’s Chinese owners sell their stake in the social media platform, or risk facing a US ban of the app. A number of countries, including the US, have already instituted a ban of the app on government devices due to the security concerns.


As scrutiny from lawmakers’ mounts, however, so does the app’s popularity and reach in the United States. Just this week, Chew released a TikTok video where he announced the app has amassed more than 150 million US users, or “almost half the US,” as he put it. TikTok was the top downloaded app in the United States in 2021 and 2022, according to data from analytics firm Sensor Tower.


Chew is expected to say on Thursday say TikTok also supports legislation to create a national data privacy law affecting all US businesses, as well as potential updates to a child-specific privacy law known as COPPA, or the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. His written testimony also outlines TikTok’s moves to keep users safe with content moderation, highlighting that the company spent $1 billion in 2021 on trust and safety and reflecting TikTok’s largest US labor expense.


U.S. News
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