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TikTok CEO to testify before US Congress next month over data privacy | TikTok

As the US legislative battle over TikTok continues to escalate, Show Zi Chu, chief executive of the video-sharing app, will appear before Congress for the first time to testify next month.

Chu will testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on March 23, Republican Representative Kathy McMorris Rogers confirmed in a statement Monday, as attention grows for the Chinese-owned app over data privacy concerns.

The news comes after the app was banned on state devices and school campuses in a number of states in recent months, and on federal devices after Congress passed the ban in December. Next month, the House Foreign Affairs Committee plans to vote on a bill that would seek to completely block the use of TikTok in the US.

“TikTok, owned by ByteDance, knowingly allowed the Chinese Communist Party to access US users’ data,” McMorris Rogers said, adding that Americans deserve to know how these actions impact their privacy and data security.

TikTok denied these claims, saying, “The Chinese Communist Party has no direct or indirect control over ByteDance or TikTok,” a spokesperson for the company said. On Monday, it was confirmed that Chu would testify.

“We welcome the opportunity to speak directly about TikTok, ByteDance, and the commitment we are making to resolve U.S. national security issues before the House Energy and Commerce Committee,” a spokesperson said, adding that the company hopes, “sharing the details of our comprehensive plans with a full committee, Congress can take a more measured approach to the issues at hand.”

McMorris Rogers and other Republican lawmakers demanded more information from TikTok about the app’s impact on youth, concerns about harmful content, and details about the platform’s potential sexual exploitation of minors.

TikTok was first seriously attacked by the Trump administration in 2020, when a sweeping executive order was issued banning American companies from doing business with ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company. Over the next three years, the company sought to reassure Washington that the personal data of US citizens was inaccessible and their content could not be used by the Chinese Communist Party or anyone else influenced by Beijing.

While Biden lifted the Trump administration’s ban in June 2021, the lift came with the condition that the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment (CFIUS) conduct a security review of the platform and suggest a way forward to avoid a permanent ban.

This review is ongoing as CFIUS and TikTok have been in talks for more than two years to reach a national security agreement to protect the data of TikTok users in the US. The White House on Friday declined to comment on whether it would support a legislative ban on TikTok or the status of the talks.

Reuters contributed to this. article

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