TikTok faces uncertain future after 5-hour congressional thrashing

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TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew tried to allay mounting national security concerns about the Chinese-owned video app but encountered open hostility in his first appearance before Congress, a five-hour thrashing that underscored the popular app’s precarious future in the United States. Lawmakers from both parties sought to tie Chew personally to the Chinese Communist Party, frequently interrupted him and called him “evasive.” While he pledged to safely steward the data of American users and shield TikTok from foreign manipulation, lawmakers from both parties criticized TikTok, without evidence, as a tool of China’s Communist government. Chew’s appearance thrusts TikTok deeper into a geopolitical standoff between two great economic powers, as support for a ban swells among lawmakers and the American public. The hearing exposed no new evidence to support lawmakers’ unsubstantiated claims that the Chinese government has abused TikTok to access Americans’ user data or promote government propaganda. Yet lawmakers appeared atypically focused in their concerns about the national security threat of the app.

TikTok faces uncertain future after 5-hour congressional thrashing TikTok’s CEO Fails to Placate US Lawmakers Eager to Ban It (Bloomberg) TikTok CEO says China-based ByteDance employees still have access to some U.S. data (CNBC) TikTok CEO faces bipartisan grilling over privacy, China ties and teens TikTok Fight Rocks U.S.-China Relations (WSJ) Lawmakers Blast TikTok’s C.E.O. for App’s Ties to China, Escalating Tensions (LA Times) Key takeaways from TikTok hearing in Congress – and the uncertain road ahead (The Guardian) Congress seems more determined to ban TikTok than ever (Vox)