Shou Zi Chew, the CEO of TikTok, is attempting to prove to Congress and state governors that the app is not a national security threat. Currently, there are 30 states and the federal government that have taken steps to ban TikTok from government-issued devices.
Chew has met with members of Congress and attended the Super Bowl as a guest of the NFL Commissioner. He is also scheduled to testify at a full committee hearing of the Energy and Commerce Committee in March.
Despite his efforts, many remain unconvinced and some have even endorsed a ban on the app. TikTok officials are frustrated by what they feel is unfair influence from their competitor, Meta.
Shou Zi Chew’s goal
Shou Zi Chew, the CEO of TikTok, is attempting to prove to members of Congress and state governors that the app is not a national security threat. He is meeting with them to build trust and educate them on the value of the app, while also trying to convince them that it is not run by Chinese government lackeys. Ultimately, he hopes to avoid a nationwide ban of the app.
Chew’s Meeting with U.S. Officials
Sen. Michael F. Bennet
Shou Zi Chew, TikTok’s CEO, met with Sen. Michael F. Bennet (D-CO) to try to convince him that the app is not a national security threat.
However, Bennet remained unconvinced and argued that it posed an unacceptable risk. Bennet has even gone as far as asking Google and Apple to remove TikTok from their app stores.
TikTok disagreed with Bennet’s characterization and will continue to work on building trust.
Sen. Roger Wicker
Chew met with Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) this week in an effort to prove the app is not a national security threat. Wicker said he met with Chew as a courtesy, but his belief that TikTok represented a threat to American interests was unchanged.
Sen. Cory Booker
There was also a meeting with Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) as part of an effort to prove the app is not a national security threat. Booker offered mild support, suggesting the company should work with U.S. intelligence on proper precautions.
Chew is hoping to build trust and show that concerns about data privacy and censorship can be resolved without a ban.
Sen. Marco Rubio
Senator Rubio (R-FL) has introduced the ANTI-SOCIAL CCP Act to ban TikTok and other similar apps from operating in the United States. He has urged Senate Majority Leader Schumer to prioritize the legislation for floor consideration.
Criticism of TikTok
Concerns about data privacy and censorship
Concerns about data privacy and censorship have been raised regarding the Chinese-owned app TikTok. Chew is meeting with members of Congress and state governors to try to prove that the app is not a national security threat. He is hoping to convince lawmakers that the company is not run by Chinese government lackeys, propagandists or spies.
Influence from TikTok’s competitor
TikTok’s competitor, Meta, has funded a secret media and lobbying campaign to portray the app as a foreign-owned threat to American youth.
This campaign has had an influence on U.S. lawmakers, leading to regular attacks on the app and state-device bans. TikTok officials have expressed frustration at the unfair influence of Meta.
Suspicions of Chinese government involvement
Suspicions of Chinese government involvement in the popular app TikTok have been mounting, leading to criticism in Washington and bans in more than two dozen states. Chew is attempting to prove that the app is not a national security threat and is not run by Chinese government lackeys, propagandists or spies.
Chew’s hope for the future
Shou Zi Chew is hoping to convince members of Congress and state governors that TikTok is not a national security threat. He is working to build trust and educate lawmakers, and is hopeful that they will come to see TikTok as a place for creativity and free expression. He is also hoping to compete on product and user experience, rather than through media and lobbying campaigns.