The CEO of TikTok made a rare, high-profile appearance Thursday (23/3/2023), before a US congressional committee to make the case for why the hugely popular video-sharing app shouldn’t be banned.
Shou Zi Chew’s testimony comes at a crucial time for the company, which has acquired 150 million American users but is under increasing pressure from the US. Officials are concerned about data security and user safety.
TikTok and its parent company byte-dance have been swept up in a wider geopolitical battle between Beijing and Washington over trade and technology.
Chew, a 40-year-old Singapore native, told the US. House committee on energy and commerce that TikTok prioritizes the safety of its young users and denies allegations that the app is a national security risk.
"We spent a lot of time adopting measures to protect teenagers. Many of those measures are firsts for the social media industry," Chew told lawmakers.
As for allegations, TikTok poses a national security threat, chew said the company goes above and beyond to ensure that is not the case.
"We have heard important concerns about the potential for unwanted foreign access to the US. Data and potential manipulation of the TikTok US. Ecosystem," Chew said, "Our approach has never been to dismiss or trivialize any of these concerns. We have addressed them with real action."