In a minute-long video on TikTok, Chew thanked the TikTok community of 150 million Americans ahead of his congressional hearing….reports Asian Lite News
Shou Zi Chew, the CEO of Chinese short-form video platform, which faces a nationwide ban in the US, has warned users as he prepares to appear before the US Congress on March 23.
In a minute-long video on TikTok, Chew thanked the TikTok community of 150 million Americans ahead of his congressional hearing.
“That’s almost half of the US coming to TikTok, including 5 million US businesses. The majority of these are small and medium businesses,” he mentioned.
TikTok has about 7,000 employees in the US, reports The Verge.
“Some politicians have started talking about banning TikTok,” Chew said. “Now this could take TikTok away from all 150 million of you.”
The Joe Biden administration has reportedly demanded that China-based ByteDance, the owner of TikTok, must sell its stake in the short-video making app or face a possible ban.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the White House’s threat is an escalation from the limited bans and pending legislation that have been growing up for some time.
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the US made the sale demand, according to the report.
TikTok had said in a statement that a “forced sale wouldn’t address the perceived security risk”.
“If protecting national security is the objective, divestment doesn’t solve the problem: a change in ownership would not impose any new restrictions on data flows or access,” a TikTok spokesperson was quoted as saying.
A group of 12 US Senators has unveiled a new bill that now has a White House backing and will give President Biden power to ban TikTok nationwide.
New Zealand bans TikTok
After the United States, the UK and New Zealand became the latest western countries to ban the Chinese-owned video-sharing platform TikTok on “government devices” citing security fears, The New York Times reported.
The UK announced the ban of TikTok with immediate effect citing security fears linked to the video-sharing app’s ownership by a Chinese company. Speaking in the parliament, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Oliver Dowden described the ban as “precautionary,” even though the United States, the European Union’s executive arm, Canada and India had already taken similar steps.
Dowden said social media apps collect and store huge amounts of user data including contacts, user content and geolocation data on government devices which can be sensitive, according to The New York Times.
Post Covid, TikTok has aroused more suspicion than most because of its owner, the Chinese company ByteDance.
Britain’s actions reflect fears expressed across a variety of Western governments that TikTok might share sensitive data from devices used by politicians and senior officials with the government in Beijing.