TikTok’s CEO to Testify Before Congress in March

TikTok Chief Executive Shou Zi Chew will testify in March before Congress. The TikTok CEO will appear before the U.S. Energy and Commerce Committee in March, as lawmakers look to scrutinize the Chinese-owned video-sharing app, Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers said.

Chew will testify before the committee on March 23, which will be his first appearance before a Congressional committee.

It comes as the government cracks down more on the popular video social media app. 

Chew will be the sole witness at the hearing. He is expected to testify on TikTok’s privacy and data security practices, its impact on young users, and its “relationship to the Chinese Communist Party.” 

“We’ve made our concerns clear with TikTok,” said the committee’s chair, Washington Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, in a statement. “It is now time to continue the committee’s efforts to hold Big Tech accountable by bringing TikTok before the committee to provide complete and honest answers for people.”

U.S. lawmakers have been aggressive — banning the app from federal devices in December over national security concerns. A proposed bipartisan bill also seeks to block the app from operating in the U.S.

A big fear among U.S. intelligence officials — and increasingly lawmakers in Europe, as well — is that Beijing could influence how TikTok targets its users to engage in propaganda or censorship.

US officials have raised concerns that China could use its laws to pressure TikTok or its parent, ByteDance, to hand over US user data that could be used for intelligence or disinformation purposes.

Chew, who took over as TikTok CEO in April 2021, has mostly stayed out of the spotlight at a time when the app he leads can’t seem to avoid it. Members of Congress previously grilled TikTok COO Vanessa Pappas, arguably the public face of the company in the United States, during a Senate hearing last year.

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