NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 30: Shou Chew on stage at the 2022 New York Times DealBook on November 30, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Thos Robinson/Getty Images for The New York Times)

TikTok CEO Confronts Congress Amid Ban Controversy

A congressional crucible transpired for TikTok CEO Shou Chew as he bravely faced the House amidst resounding calls for the app’s banishment.

Rep. Rodgers’ Condemnation of TikTok

Launching the hearing, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, fervently denounced TikTok. Exposing the app’s colossal 150 million American users, she underscored the need for swift congressional action.

TikTok’s Autonomy: CEO’s Stance on China

Chew labored to accentuate TikTok’s detachment from China by spotlighting its Los Angeles and Singapore bases, as well as a 7,000-strong US workforce. With conviction, he affirmed that an American company safeguards US data on domestic soil under American supervision.

Chew’s Prepared Statements

Promising to shield US user data, maintain adolescent safety, and eschew governmental sway, Chew delineated ByteDance’s corporate framework and measures to bar China’s access to TikTok user data.

National Security Woes and the Looming US Ban

TikTok’s connection to China, via parent company ByteDance, fuels national security anxieties, resulting in lawmakers urging a US ban. Federal officials pressure ByteDance to relinquish its stake or confront prohibition. The app is already forbidden on government devices in some nations, including the US.

Legislators’ Doubts and TikTok’s Unstoppable Growth

Chew confronts skepticism from legislators, like Sen. Mark R. Warner, who challenge TikTok’s openness and trustworthiness. Regardless, the app’s American prominence swells—dominating as the top downloaded app in 2021 and 2022

The Battle to Preserve TikTok in the US

Anticipating his congressional showdown, Chew embarked on a media crusade, forging relationships with lawmakers and granting interviews to advocate TikTok’s cultural significance, support for creators, and the bolstering of small businesses. Joining TikTok creators, Congressman Jamaal Bowman contested a ban during a press conference on the hearing’s eve, deliberating the app’s merits and potential fallout from prohibition.

Chew’s prepared statements contend that a ban would undermine American small businesses, muzzle 150 million users, and curtail competition in an increasingly monopolistic market.

Backing National Data Privacy Legislation and COPPA Revisions

Chew is anticipated to voice TikTok’s endorsement for a comprehensive national data privacy law impacting all US enterprises and potential amendments to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). His written testimony further elucidates the company’s content moderation endeavors and its monumental $1 billion investment in trust and safety in 2021, epitomizing TikTok’s most significant US labor expenditure.

CNN’s Brian Fung contributed to the original report.