TikTok’s chief executive faced tough questions on Thursday (March 23) from lawmakers who are convinced the Chinese-owned short video app should be barred for being a potential national security threat to the United States.
CEO Shou Zi Chew’s testimony before Congress capped a week of actions by the Chinese company aimed at convincing Americans and their lawmakers that the app creates economic value and supports free speech.
TikTok, which has more than 150 million Americans users, has faced sharp accusations that its U.S. user data would be shared with the Chinese government and that it fails to adequately protect children from harm.
The House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee hearing will be chaired by Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Republican who said she is unconvinced by TikTok’s security commitments.
She kicked off the hearing by saying, “TikTok collects nearly every data point imaginable – from people’s location to what they type and copy, who they talk to, to biometric data and more.”
“We do not trust TikTok will ever embrace American values – values for freedom, human rights and innovation,” and added that the Chinese Communist Party “is able to use (TikTok) as a tool to manipulate America as a whole.”
(Reporting by Reuters)