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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

USA. TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew will address Congress

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The head of TikTok Shou Zi Chew will open the lion’s mouth and put his own head in it – he will testify in the US Congress for the first time, which is terrifying – this is how the BBC announced Thursday’s event in the US capital.

The future of a popular video sharing app in the United States is at stake. “I think there’s a real risk that if this hearing doesn’t go well, it could have a huge impact on the future of TikTok,” Chris Stokel-Walker, creator of TikTok Boom, told the BBC.

Many countries are banning TikTok on government devicesEPA/ANDY RAIN

Head of TikTok in the US Congress

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Chew is likely to face an avalanche of questions regarding TikTok’s relationship with Chinawhat data it collects and what it does with it. He will also be asked why several journalists were spied on by employees of ByteDance (the owner of TikTok) – something TikTok has already admitted.

According to the British portal, Chew will say that user data is safe – beyond the reach of the Chinese government. He knows politicians on all sides want the platform to be sold – or banned altogether in USA.

“He’s entering the lion’s den,” Stokel-Walker said.

Shou Zi Chew Getty Images

As the BBC writes – “Chew will have to give the show of his life”. Careful observers have already noticed the shift in tactics. The head of TikTok, who has held a number of high positions in the financial world, usually wears a jacket and tie. But on Tuesday he showed on TikTok with a completely different look.

Instead of a suit, he was wearing a white T-shirt and hoodie—the uniform of a nonchalant tech founder. The 40-year-old suddenly started acting like a teenager, talking about being “super excited”.

“I think he’s trying to act like your average tech dude,” said Caitlin Chin of the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank.

“He actually started to gain some popularity, especially before this audition,” she added.

The Singaporean has generally gone unnoticed since acquiring TikTok in 2021. However, this approach seems to have changed. TikTok is fighting for its life and Chew knows it. The big problem with TikTok in the US and Europe is that it is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, the BBC pointed out.

He added that there are specific laws in China that require companies to provide information to the Chinese Communist Party. TikTok stores a lot of information about its users, including location information and biometrics.

TikTok has been saying for years that it will never hand over user information. The company has spent tens of millions of dollars on lobbying and strategies to appease governments.

Read more: UK bans TikTok on government devices. The Chinese Embassy responds>>>

Main photo source: Shutterstock



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