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# TikTok’s Future Stays Underneath a Cloud After CEO’s Look Earlier than Congress

TikTok’s Future Stays Underneath a Cloud After CEO’s Look Earlier than Congress

So how did TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew’s look earlier than the Home Committee on Power and Commerce go right now?

Nicely, it’s arduous to say – amid the common smattering of accusations framed as questions, and obscure queries that appeared to misconceive how the web itself works, Chew principally appeared to supply rigorously worded solutions, whereas warding off something too troublesome by saying that he’d look into it.

In an important listening to, which might determine the way forward for the app within the US, Chew offered a passionate protection of the platform, and sought to handle US regulatory considerations, with the important thing subject being the potential of American person knowledge being shared with the Chinese language Authorities.

Chew sought to dispel this notion, whereas TikTok additionally posted a public assertion on this:

Chew was pressed on numerous facets, referring to TikTok’s previous actions on censorship (i.e. whether or not it censors content material crucial of the CCP), its accessing of US person knowledge to trace journalists, it’s algorithm, youth security facets, and extra.

For probably the most half, Chew was capable of navigate the varied questions with out making any definitive commitments. However on the similar time, his look, by numerous accounts, wasn’t overly assuring, or convincing, with reference to successful over US senators.

Particularly, when pressed on whether or not ByteDance workers have spied on US residents previously, Chew deferred, saying that ‘I do not assume spying is the suitable option to describe it’. Chew additionally questioned the monitor document of American firms on person knowledge, when requested a couple of potential divestment from ByteDance – which looks as if a good comparability, however is unlikely to resonate with US officers.

However the important thing assertion of Chew’s look was this:

“The underside line is that this – American knowledge is saved on American soil by an American firm overseen by American personnel.”

This was from Chew’s pre-prepared testimony, during which Chew defined that ‘Undertaking Texas’, TikTok’s multi-billion greenback plan to separate US person knowledge from its Chinese language mum or dad firm, will safe US person knowledge within the US, making it completely inaccessible to China-based workers.

TikTok’s hope is that this effort shall be sufficient to guarantee US regulators that American customers are protected.

However then once more, when pressed on one other key level, as as to if TikTok would ever think about promoting person knowledge, Chew refused to supply a agency dedication, noting, as an alternative, that he would search additional clarification earlier than offering a solution.

On the finish of this, it nonetheless stays troublesome to find out the place TikTok is positioned, with reference to the potential of a full ban within the US. Even worse, the Chinese language Authorities has as soon as once more shared its opposition to the pressured sell-off of the app, which implies that if TikTok is banned by the US Authorities, a sell-off into native arms might not be an possibility.

Which, as soon as once more, underlines the truth that TikTok’s future hinges on how US politicians understand Chew’s testimony.

Was he convincing sufficient in his explanations? Has TikTok executed sufficient to guarantee policymakers of its intentions? Will Undertaking Texas be sufficient to show separation of entry inside mum or dad firm ByteDance?

Actually, the subsequent steps are seemingly out of Chew’s arms both approach, because it nonetheless feels just like the rising tensions between the US and China would be the key determinate. Final month’s spy balloon incident raised the hackles of these involved about Chinese language interference, weighing additional in opposition to TikTok, whereas this week’s assembly between Chinese language President Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin has additional stoked considerations.

On this respect, it looks like TikTok is caught within the center amidst a wider disagreement between the 2 nations, and it one other incident of this kind might find yourself being the factor that makes or breaks TikTok within the US.

Any additional indication of Chinese language defiance, particularly in opposition to the US, might power the White Home to behave. So whereas Chew might have executed his finest, perhaps there’s nothing he might do throughout the broader context.

Andrew Hutchinson
Content material and Social Media Supervisor


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