- In a landmark hearing on March 23, 2023, TikTok’s CEO Shou Zi Chew testified before Congress for the first time and tried to address the concerns of lawmakers who questioned the app’s relationship with its Chinese parent company ByteDance, its data privacy and security practices, and its impact on young users and content creators.
- The hearing took place on March 23, 2023, and lasted for more than five hours. It was the first appearance in Congress for TikTok’s CEO Shou Zi Chew.
- The main topics of the hearing were TikTok’s relationship with China and its parent company ByteDance, its data privacy and security practices, and its impact on young users and content creators.
- Chew defended TikTok’s independence from China and its commitment to protect its users’ data and well-being. He said that TikTok is a global company, not available in mainland China, and headquartered in Singapore and Los Angeles. He also said that TikTok collects less data than its peers and plans to relocate all US user data to domestic servers through an effort called Project Texas.
- Many lawmakers expressed skepticism and concern about TikTok’s ties to China and ByteDance, and questioned whether Project Texas would be sufficient to prevent Chinese government access to user data. They also asked Chew about reports of TikTok accessing journalists’ information, censoring content related to human rights issues, and exposing young users to harmful or inappropriate content.
- The hearing came amid ongoing threats from the Biden administration to ban TikTok from the US unless ByteDance agrees to spin off its share of the app. The US and other countries have also moved to ban the app on government devices. The hearing also raised doubts about TikTok’s rumored IPO plans.
Cover image courtesy Unsplash.com
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