Headline RoundupMarch 23rd, 2023

TikTok CEO Testifies Before House Committee, Denies CCP Connections

Summary from the AllSides News Team

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Thursday, defending the popular app as federal efforts to ban the China-connected platform continue.

Details: Lawmakers pressed Chew with questions regarding the company’s connections to the Chinese Communist Party, expressing concerns over the data TikTok collects on American users that the CCP can potentially access. Chew pushed back on these claims, stating that ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, is a private company not beholden to the CCP.  Chew discussed efforts currently underway by TikTok to store American data on American soil. Lawmakers also addressed concerns on the app’s potential negative impact on young Americans’ mental health. Earlier this month, a bipartisan group of Senators introduced a bill that would allow for TikTok to be federally banned. The White House endorsed the bill and is pressuring ByteDance to divest from TikTok or face a potential ban in the United States.

Key Quotes: Committee chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) stated that “ByteDance is beholden to the CCP, and ByteDance and TikTok are one and the same.” Chew denied the CCP can access American data, stating, “I have seen no evidence that the Chinese government has access to that data, they have never asked us, we have not provided.”

How The Media Covered It: Outlets centered coverage around national security concerns, with the consensus across the spectrum being that lawmakers were not persuaded by Chew’s testimony.

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