TikTok CEO to testify before House next week
(NewsNation) — Growing cybersecurity concerns threaten to wipe out TikTok in the U.S. as lawmakers on Capitol Hill prepare to hear testimony from the CEO of the social media giant next week.
TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew is scheduled to testify on TikTok’s consumer privacy and data security practices before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on March 23.
“Americans deserve to know the extent to which their privacy is jeopardized and their data is manipulated by ByteDance-owned TikTok’s relationship with China,” Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) said, announcing the details of the upcoming hearing.
Chew’s testimony comes as the Biden administration has explicitly threatened to put a national ban on TikTok if it does not divest from Chinese internet company ByteDance.
The app itself is incredibly popular. Over 100 million Americans use TikTok for an average of 90 minutes a day.
FBI director Christopher Wray testified in front of Congress last week that TikTok could be used by the Chinese government to spread misinformation.
Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, introduced bipartisan legislation to potentially ban tech from adversarial nations for national security purposes.
Warner has told reporters that divesting wouldn’t go far enough, and believes that another tech company from China could pop up again instantly if TikTok were banned. He explained his legislation would prevent that going forward.
The United Kingdom banned TikTok on government devices on Thursday and lawmakers in New Zealand were officially banned from having TikTok on their devices on Friday. The White House had previously required all federal agencies to remove the app from all government devices.
The White House continues to warn that China is leveraging digital technologies and Americans’ data in ways that present national security risks.
NewsNation writer Devan Markham contributed to this report.