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(Bloomberg) — TikTok’s chief government officer confronted pointed questions concerning the app’s relationship with its Chinese language mum or dad firm in his debut look earlier than Congress, the place combative lawmakers made it clear they don’t settle for his promise to maintain customers and their information secure.

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TikTok Chief Govt Shou Chew’s look Thursday earlier than the Home Power and Commerce Committee comes as each Congress and the Biden administration are exploring methods to pressure TikTok’s mum or dad firm, Beijing-based ByteDance Ltd., to promote its shares of the unit or face a ban within the US.

“You might be right here as a result of the American individuals want to listen to the reality concerning the risk TikTok poses to psychological well being and nationwide safety,” Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the committee’s chair and a Washington Republican, mentioned. “Your platform must be banned. I count on at the moment you’ll say something to keep away from this consequence.”

The room was overflowing Thursday with TikTokers who credit score the app with giving them a voice or rising their small enterprise.

However Rodgers mentioned the app’s vast recognition — utilized by 150 million People — is exactly why it poses such a risk. She referred to as on Chew to inform the reality about TikTok, however steered that it is going to be arduous for him to win over his critics.

“We aren’t shopping for it,” McMorris Rodgers mentioned of TikTok’s arguments of why the service is secure.

Chew got here ready for all of the accusations he would hear from lawmakers. In his opening assertion he tried to guarantee the committee that TikTok operates independently from ByteDance.

“We consider we’re the one firm — the one firm — that applies this stage of transparency,” Shou mentioned emphatically concerning the privateness measures the corporate has put in place.

The centerpiece of Chew’s providing to quell issues about Chinese language affect — a $1.5 billion funding in US-based information safety measures — has already been rejected by US authorities officers, who’re demanding that ByteDance promote its shares or face a US ban, in keeping with individuals accustomed to the nationwide safety evaluation of the app.

Chew, in his ready remarks, referred to as these experiences “hypothesis” and mentioned “conversations with the federal government are ongoing,” and TikTok’s effort to isolate and shield US person information “has continued unabated.”

New Jersey Consultant Frank Pallone, the committee’s rating Democrat, mentioned whereas he helps complete data-privacy laws, such because the invoice he sponsored with McMorris Rodgers final yr, that doesn’t let TikTok off the hook. He mentioned he has “vast issues” not nearly TikTok, however about all social media platforms.

Chew additionally in contrast the steps TikTok is taking — to guard each information safety and the protection of younger customers — to the practices of different large tech firms. He described the measures TikTok takes to confirm the age of its customers and implement restrictions for youngsters and youths as industry-leading.

However his problem on Thursday is to persuade individuals who merely don’t consider him.

“Full honesty is the usual and the regulation you might be held to on this committee,” McMorris Rodgers mentioned.

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By Maggi

"Greetings! I am a media graduate with a diverse background in the news industry. From working as a reporter to producing content, I have a well-rounded understanding of the field and a drive to stay at the forefront of the industry." When I'm not writing content, I'm Playing and enjoying with my Kids.

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