TikTok Hearing: US Lawmakers Question CEO During Testimony

    TikTok Hearing: US Lawmakers Question CEO During Testimony
    Last updated Mar 23, 2023
    Image credit: cnn


    • In his first appearance before Congress on Thursday, TikTok CEO Shou Chew was questioned by US lawmakers concerned about the platform's suspected ties to China, users' privacy, and its impact on children.
    • During the more than five hours of testimony, Chew repeatedly denied the app shares data or has connections with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and argued the platform was doing everything to ensure the safety of its 150M American users.
    • While the CCP says there’s no evidence that TikTok threatens national security, the Biden admin. has threatened to ban the app if its parent company, ByteDance, doesn’t sell its stake in the US version of the app.
    • Thursday's hearing saw Chew commit to deleting all US user data from company servers by the end of the year — a move in line with Project Texas, which involves the relocation of US user data to Oracle servers based in the US, where the data would then be overseen by American personnel.
    • Lawmakers on both sides were skeptical of Chew’s pitch, with Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and John Thune (R-S.D.) issuing a statement that all Chinese companies “do the bidding” of Chinese intelligence services.
    • Meanwhile, China's commerce ministry has warned that requiring ByteDance to sell its stake in the company would discourage "investors from all over the world, including China, [from] invest[ing] in the United States."


    Pro-establishment narrative

    The US has no choice but to ban TikTok. The data the app gathers is too powerful, and Beijing unquestionably extorts Chinese companies to advance its own interests. The CCP cannot be allowed to have access to important data from tens of millions of Americans. Too much is at stake to allow TikTok to continue collecting information on its US users.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Talk about banning TikTok shows just how out of touch US lawmakers are. Fear-mongering legislators paint TikTok and China as boogeymen while completely ignoring Facebook, Google, and Twitter’s invasion of privacy. Under the guise of caring about its citizens’ privacy, the US government is merely flexing its muscles against China.

    Establishment split



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