TikTok CEO Testifies Before US Congress, Calls India’s Ban “Hypothetical”

By Sanjit Gupta

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In 2020, India implemented a countrywide prohibition on numerous Chinese applications, such as TikTok and the messaging platform WeChat, citing worries regarding privacy and security.tiktok apk,tiktok app download,ceo net worth,ceo testify live,

The CEO of TikTok, Shou Zi Chew, appeared before the United States Congress to address increasing concerns over security and potential influence by the Chinese government on the company.

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Chew was subjected to intense interrogation from the House Energy and Commerce Committee, as he tried to convince them that the social media company is genuinely taking concrete measures to tackle national security issues raised by the US.

Throughout a lengthy four-hour hearing, Chew reiterated multiple times that TikTok, a Chinese tech firm owned by Bytedance, has consistently maintained that it neither shares data with the Chinese government nor poses a threat to its 150 million American users, nor does it share their data with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). tiktok apk,tiktok apk,tiktok app download,tiktok app download,ceo net worth,ceo testify live,

During her questioning, US lawmaker Debbie Lesko referenced several countries, including India, that have recently imposed varying degrees of prohibitions on TikTok.

Lesko inquired, “Mr. Chew, TikTok is ultimately under the control of the Chinese government and raises significant national security concerns. How can all these countries, along with our FBI director, be mistaken?”

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Chew replied, “I believe that many of the risks highlighted are merely hypothetical and theoretical risks. To date, I have not encountered any concrete evidence to support them.”

The Congresswoman emphasized the ban on TikTok in India once again. “India prohibited TikTok in 2020. A Forbes article published in March 2021 disclosed how data belonging to Indian citizens who used TikTok was still accessible to employees at the company and its parent company based in Beijing. According to a current TikTok employee, practically anyone with basic access to company tools can easily obtain the nearest contact and other sensitive information about any user,” Lesko informed her colleagues.

Chew replied, “I am aware of this recent article, and I have requested my team to investigate it thoroughly. We have stringent data access procedures in place, and it is not possible for anyone to access the tools as suggested. Therefore, I disagree with many of the conclusions drawn in the article.”

In 2020, India enforced a countrywide prohibition on TikTok and numerous other Chinese applications, such as the messaging app WeChat, citing concerns regarding privacy and security. The prohibition followed a confrontation between Indian and Chinese troops at LAC, which resulted in the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers and the injury of many others. The companies were given an opportunity to address queries regarding privacy and security requirements, but the ban was made permanent in January 2021.

During a hearing, Florida lawmaker Kat Cammack confronted Chew about the security of the committee’s data and the app’s 150 million users, stating that it was impossible to protect them due to the app being affiliated with the CCP. Cammack showed a video containing threatening content that had been posted on the platform over a month ago, despite the community guidelines prohibiting violence or threats.

When questioned by Republican representative Cathy McMorris-Rodgers during a congressional hearing, TikTok’s CEO could not provide a definitive assurance that Beijing was not exerting influence over certain aspects of the app. However, Chew stated that the company was dedicated to safeguarding American user data by preventing any unauthorized foreign access, and would ensure that content on the platform remained untainted by government manipulation.

A New Jersey legislator expressed skepticism about the effectiveness of TikTok’s security measures, stating that he remained unconvinced that the Beijing government could not still control and exert influence over the platform. He rejected what he saw as TikTok’s attempt to present itself as a harmless company providing a public service, stating that he did not believe it.

The Chinese government announced its non-opposition to any compelled sale of TikTok just hours before the hearing. The Commerce Ministry stated that such a sale would involve the export of Chinese technology and thus necessitate approval by the Chinese government.

TikTok has already been prohibited on federal government and military devices, and an increasing number of states across the US are now also prohibiting its use on state government devices.

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