TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew was a bipartisan when he appeared before the House Energy and Commerce Committee to address lawmakers’ concerns about a video-sharing app with 150 million active users in the United States. faced severe interrogation. Of particular concern to the committee was the company’s China-based parent company, ByteDance, and its alleged ties to the Chinese government.
“I don’t think TikTok will embrace the values of American values, freedom, human rights, and innovation,” said committee chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Washington Republican. Said in her opening statement. “TikTok has repeatedly chosen the path to more control, more monitoring and more manipulation. Your platform should be banned.”
is currently triplets Congress could affect access to TikTok for Americans. Two legislate outright bans on platforms, and the other gives governments the power to ban technologies deemed national security risks. reportedly Ask ByteDance to sell TikTok, Intimidation If the China-based company does not comply, the app will be banned entirely.On Thursday, a spokesman for China’s Ministry of Commerce Said The government will oppose forced sales.
During the five-hour hearing, 40-year-old Singapore-born Chew stressed that there was no evidence that the Chinese government had access to TikTok’s user data.He said Prohibited The app on government devices did so based on “hypothetical and theoretical risks.” last month, both USA and Canada We have issued an order banning the use of TikTok on government-issued mobile devices.
“Let me make this clear: ByteDance is not an agent for China or any other country,” Chew declared in his document. written statement.
But lawmakers on both sides of the aisle questioned the claim, and many committee members jokingly thanked the TikTok CEO for inspiring the bipartisan party. We have united, even for just one day, we are really united because of our serious concerns.” Said Rep. August Fluger, Texas Republican.
When asked about data privacy, Chew’s main answer was, Project Texasthe platform’s ongoing operation to move information about American users to servers based in the United States. It said it would go away, but committee members wondered if this internal firewall would eliminate security concerns.
“What you say about Project Texas doesn’t pass the smell test.” Said Rep. Angie Craig, Minnesota Democrat. “My voters are concerned that TikTok and the Chinese Communist Party control their data and see our own vulnerabilities. It’s not enough to convince us that our privacy is not protected, it’s at risk.”
Exclusively as BuzzFeed News report Last year, China-based ByteDance employees accessed private US TikTok user data several times between September 2021 and January 2022. statement An internal investigation reveals that the personal TikTok user data of the BuzzFeed News reporter who published the story, as well as several other journalists covering TikTok, were accessed without permission by a ByteDance employee who was subsequently terminated. became.
When Florida Republican Rep. Neil Dunne asked at a hearing whether ByteDance ever spied on American citizens, Chu said: responded“I don’t think the expression ‘espionage’ is appropriate.”