TikTok US Ban likely; CEO Chew fails to convince Congress that the app is not a ‘weapon’ for China

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Daily Present Times

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Eati Akter


TikTok in all likelihood is going to get banned following the US Congressional hearing. CEO Shou Zi Chew, as prepared as he was had a rough hearing, during which, he dodged a number of important questions on US user’s data and Chinese spying. ,As the Biden administration intensifies its threats against TikTok, the company’s CEO appeared before Congress for the first time on Thursday. Given the US government’s assertive recent stance, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew was bound for a harsh turn in front of the government’s large, glaring lights — and that’s exactly what happened over the course of the five-hour meeting.

Chew promised in his introductory remarks that the business would protect minors, strengthen its privacy and security policies, and prevent “unauthorized foreign access” to U.S. user data. “… I understand that there are concerns based on the mistaken belief that TikTok’s corporate structure makes it beholden to the Chinese government or that it shares information about US users with the Chinese government,” Chew said. “This is categorically false.” TikTok, according to Chew, has never shared info on US users with the Chinese government and has never gotten a request to do so. Chew argued that if China did seek access to data on Americans, the firm would refuse. As the meeting progressed, legislators from both parties pushed Chew on the company’s relationship with China, its failure to regulate troubling material, and its plans to establish confidence in the United States, its largest market.

Faced with a deluge of questions, some critical and others strange, TikTok took a leaf from the standard tech hearing script written in recent years by companies such as Meta and Google. While Chew came across as comfortable and friendly — more so than some U.S. tech execs — he overstated some of the company’s accomplishments and repeatedly avoided meaningful responses on difficult topics.

Several representatives discussed TikTok’s effect on young consumers. Rep. John Sarbanes brought the company’s boasts about its protections against social media addiction back to reality after Chew praised the app’s 60-minute viewing restriction for teenagers.

Things got a little personal for Chew. When members of Congress pressed Chew, who resides in Singapore rather than China, to reveal his own ties to the CCP, he repeatedly evaded the questions. He told the committee that his evidence would be limited to TikTok. He also repeatedly refused to answer to several committee members who asked if he condemned Chinese human rights violations against the Uyghurs, a Turkish ethnic group in China.

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