Thursday, 08 Jun 2023

Key takeaways from TikTok hearing in Congress and the uncertain road ahead

Key takeaways from TikTok hearing in Congress and the uncertain road ahead


Key takeaways from TikTok hearing in Congress  and the uncertain road ahead

The first appearance in Congress for TikTok's CEO Shou Zi Chew stretched more than five hours, with contentious questioning targeting the app's relationship with China and protections for its youngest users.

Chew's appearance comes at a pivotal time for TikTok, which is facing bipartisan fire after experiencing a meteoric rise in popularity in recent years. The company is owned by Chinese firm ByteDance, raising concerns about China's influence over the app - criticisms Chew repeatedly tried to resist throughout the hearing.

"Let me state this unequivocally: ByteDance is not an agent of China or any other country," he said in prepared testimony.

He defended TikTok's privacy practices, stating they are are in line with those of other social media platforms, adding that in many cases the app collects less data than its peers. "There are more than 150 million Americans who love our platform, and we know we have a responsibility to protect them," Chew said.

Here are some of the other key criticisms Chew faced at Thursday's landmark hearing, and what could lie ahead.

Many members of the committee focused on ByteDance and its executives, who lawmakers say have ties to the Chinese Communist party.

The committee members asked how frequently Chew was in contact with them, and questioned whether the company's proposed solution, called Project Texas, would offer sufficient protection against Chinese laws that require companies to make user data accessible to the government.

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