Shou Zi Chew, TikTok’s CEO, will testify in front of Congress on March 23, a Congressional committee announced today (Jan. 30). TikTok has been the target of bipartisan attacks in recent months regarding its relationship to ByteDance, its Chinese parent company.
Chew will speak about TikTok’s data security policies, its impact on children and its relationship with the Chinese government.
“We welcome the opportunity to set the record straight about TikTok, ByteDance, and the commitments we are making to address concerns about U.S. national security before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce,” Brooke Oberwetter, a TikTok spokesperson, said in an emailed statement. The committee oversees economy-related issues and has heard testimony from other Big Tech CEOs, including Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Sundar Pichai and Twitter’s former chief executive, Jack Dorsey.
The FBI is concerned TikTok could share U.S. users’ data with the Chinese Communist Party and manipulate its algorithm to influence users. TikTok has repeatedly denied this claim. Last month, half of the U.S. states banned TikTok on state-owned devices. As a result, some major state universities blocked TikTok from their wifi networks. TikTok recently revealed plans to give the U.S. government and other independent groups more control over its algorithm to ease concerns.
“ByteDance-owned TikTok has knowingly allowed the ability for the Chinese Communist Party to access American user data,” the Energy and Commerce Committee’s statement said. “Americans deserve to know how these actions impact their privacy and data security, as well as what actions TikTok is taking to keep our kids safe from online and offline harms.”
There is no truth to the claim TikTok shared data with the Chinese government, Oberwetter said.