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TikTok ban latest: CEO Shou Chew issues stark warning on social media apps at US Congress hearing

TikTok CEO Shou Chew says no government devices should contain social media apps.

“I disagree with that characterization. I think the government devices honestly shouldn’t have social media apps, not just be geared towards us,” he told Pennsylvania Rep. John Joyce during his testimony before Congress on Thursday.

TikTok is facing a full ban in the US over fears China is using the app as a covert tool to spy and spread propaganda.

Mr. Chew testified before Congress, with members of the House Energy and Trade Committee expressing concern about how much access the Chinese government has to user data and how much influence the Chinese Communist Party has over it.

TikTok has consistently denied such allegations, although that hasn’t stopped the US and other countries from banning the app from government and military devices.

Some countries like India have even enacted a nationwide ban on TikTok and dozens of other Chinese apps due to national security concerns.

Read  Sabrina Brier Is TikTok’s Latest Character

With more than 150 million TikTok users in the US, many will be watching Thursday’s proceedings closely to see if Biden’s government follows India in banning TikTok.

Here you can follow all the news and updates in our live coverage.

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“Did ByteDance spy on Americans on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party?”

Rep. Neal Dunn, a Florida Republican, asked CEO Shou Chew if TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, had ever spied on American citizens at the behest of the Chinese Communist Party.

“No,” Mr. Chew said, sparking a tense exchange with the congressman. Mr Chew concluded by saying that the legislature did not give him an opportunity to respond to his many questions.

Graem MassieMarch 24, 2023 06:53

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Latest TikTok ban: Congressman describes TikTok as a ‘weapon’

You can watch Chair Rodgers’ clip describing TikTok as a weapon here:

Chair Rodgers claims ‘TikTok is a weapon’

Graem MassieMarch 24, 2023 5:01 am

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Latest TikTok ban: “TikTok is a weapon”

Chairman Rodgers brings up Shou Chew’s alleged ties to the Chinese Communist Party, having worked as the chief financial officer of the Chinese version of TikTok before assuming his current role.

Both companies are owned by ByteDance, with senior figures within the parent company having ties to the Chinese state.

“TikTok is a weapon,” says Chair Rodgers.

Graem MassieMarch 24, 2023 4:03 am

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How would a TikTok ban actually work in the US?

The Biden administration is currently attempting to pass the RESTRICT ACT, which attorneys say would allow the US government to bypass language protections embedded in existing law.

But how would a nationwide TikTok ban actually be implemented?

There are always ways to circumvent such bans – most likely any VPN would be able to circumvent all restrictions – but when the same thing happened in India, most users simply switched to copycat short-form content set up by YouTube and Facebook.

Graem MassieMarch 24, 2023 3:08 am

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Who is TikTok CEO Shou Chew?

TikTok CEO Shou Chew doesn’t have long to wait before he appears before Congress at 10 a.m. local time (2 p.m. GMT) today.

He’s already posted a TikTok asking US users what they want their elected representatives to know about “What You Love” on TikTok.

“I will testify before Congress this week to share everything we are doing to keep Americans who use the app safe and to fulfill our mission to inspire creativity and bring joy,” he said in the post , which was published on the main TikTok account.

His own account has been remarkably quiet considering he’s the app’s boss, having posted fewer than a few dozen times in his story. His low profile matches his public persona, which he has kept extremely private compared to the heads of other tech giants.

There are only six sentences on his Wikipedia page, but if you want to learn more you can read this:

Graem MassieMarch 24, 2023 2:05 am

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TikTok ban: chronicling the app’s controversial rise to the top

TikTok was the most downloaded app in the world last year, beating its closest competitor by more than 100 million downloads.

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You can see all the charts and read the full story of TikTok’s controversial rise to the top here:

Graem MassieMarch 24, 2023 1:02 am

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Latest TikTok ban: CEO says app offers ‘unprecedented transparency’

Shou Chew claims TikTok goes further than any other major social media app when it comes to protecting its users’ privacy.


The heart of our work is called Project Texas. Project Texas is an unprecedented initiative dedicated to protecting US user data and US national security interests. This initiative addresses key issues of corporate governance, content recommendation and moderation, data security and system access. It is a comprehensive set of measures with layers of independent oversight to protect against backdoors in TikTok that could be used to manipulate the platform or access US users’ proprietary data. Project Texas puts the concepts of transparency and accountability into action by directly addressing national security concerns with concrete, measurable solutions. Project Texas is designed to introduce levels of transparency and verification commonly used for defense contractors but unheard of for consumer platforms.

Shou Chew, TikTok CEO

Graem MassieMarch 24, 2023 00:04

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TikTok Ban Latest: Boss Refuses To Guarantee China Can’t Decide What’s Shown On The App

When questioned by Chair Rodgers, the TikTok CEO failed to confirm “100 percent” that the Chinese Communist Party cannot influence parts of the app.

You can read the whole story from The IndependentAndrew Griffin is here:

Graem MassieMarch 23, 2023 11:05 p.m

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Latest TikTok ban: British Parliament blocks app

While the US mulls a nationwide TikTok ban, the UK has announced the app will be blocked for “all parliamentary devices and the broader parliamentary network”, citing security concerns.

“Cybersecurity is a top priority for Parliament, but we do not comment on specific details of our cyber or physical security controls, policies or incidents,” a spokesman said.

“Following the government’s decision to ban TikTok from government devices, the commissions of both the House of Commons and the Lords have ruled that TikTok will be banned from all parliamentary devices and the broader parliamentary network.”

You can read Andrew Griffin’s full story here:

Graem MassieMarch 23, 2023 10:03 p.m

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How to avoid ban on TikTok?

The US government is reportedly demanding that TikTok’s parent company ByteDance sell its US business to avoid a total ban.

If not, a bill the Biden administration is currently trying to pass would allow the Secretary of Commerce to bar foreign companies from doing business in the US if they are deemed a threat to national security.

“Let me state this unequivocally: ByteDance is not an agent of China or any other country,” TikTok CEO Shou Chew will say during his testimony on Thursday.

Its pre-filed written statement claims, “TikTok has never disclosed US user data to the Chinese government or received a request for disclosure. Also, TikTok would not honor such a request if one was ever made.”

He will also defend TikTok’s handling of US user data by detailing the $1.5 billion Project Texas. The process involves hosting and routing all US data through the Oracle Cloud.

Graem MassieMarch 23, 2023 21:01

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