AQRA BIL-MALTI [+]
TikTok CEO Shou Chew faced an extensive and unprecedented hearing on Thursday with members of Congress, discussing the platform’s alleged ties to China’s government, as well as its addictive content and harm targeting teenagers. Amidst the hearing, Chew repeatedly denied lawmakers’ arguments regarding TikTok’s Beijing-based parent company ByteDance, and its access to Americans’ user data, stating that ByteDance is not an agent of China or any other country. He also emphasized the company’s transparency and cooperation with the U.S. government and Oracle to address concerns about TikTok’s heritage. However, despite his assurances, lawmakers, including Chairwoman Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), remained unconvinced. McMorris Rodgers accused ByteDance of being beholden to the CCP, and stressed that TikTok and ByteDance are one and the same, adding that the facts do not indicate that TikTok will ever embrace American values.