US Congress to hear from TikTok CEO in March

WASHINGTON D.C.: As US lawmakers investigate the Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok, its Chief Executive, Shou Zi Chew, has confirmed that he will appear before the US Energy and Commerce Committee on 23rd March.

In a statement released this week, Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the Republican chair of the panel, said Chew’s testimony will be his first appearance before a congressional committee.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee plans to hold a vote next month on a bill that will block the use of TikTok in the US, due to national security concerns.

"ByteDance-owned TikTok has knowingly allowed the ability for the Chinese Communist Party to access American user data," McMorris Rodgers said.

Meanwhile, TikTok has confirmed that Chew will testify.

"We welcome the opportunity to set the record straight about TikTok, ByteDance, and the commitments we are making to address concerns about US national security before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce," a company spokesperson said.

TikTok hopes that "by sharing details of our comprehensive plans with the full committee, Congress can take a more deliberative approach to the issues at hand," it added.

The company also said "there is no truth to Rep. McMorris Rodgers’ claim that TikTok has made US user data available to the Chinese Communist Party. The Chinese Communist Party has neither direct nor indirect control of ByteDance or TikTok."

TikTok, which has more than 100 million American users, has been seeking to assure lawmakers in Washington that US citizens’ personal data cannot be accessed or manipulated by the Chinese Communist Party, or any group under Beijing’s influence.

In 2022, the national security agency, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), ordered ByteDance to divest itself of TikTok, due to concerns that the Chinese government can access US user data.