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TikTok CEO to testify before Congress in March

<i>Adobe Stock</i><br/>TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew will testify at an upcoming hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in March.
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TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew will testify at an upcoming hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in March.

By Brian Fung, CNN

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew will testify at an upcoming hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, a committee spokesperson confirmed to CNN Monday.

Chew will be the sole witness at the hearing, scheduled for March 23. He is expected to testify on TikTok’s privacy and data security practices, its impact on young users, and its “relationship to the Chinese Communist Party,” according to a hearing announcement on the committee’s website.

“We’ve made our concerns clear with TikTok,” said the committee’s chair, Washington Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, in a statement. “It is now time to continue the committee’s efforts to hold Big Tech accountable by bringing TikTok before the committee to provide complete and honest answers for people.”

Chew’s upcoming testimony was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

“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 spokesperson for TikTok, said in a statement. “We hope that by sharing details of our comprehensive plans with the full Committee, Congress can take a more deliberative approach to the issues at hand.”

The high-profile hearing underscores the rising political risk for TikTok as its negotiations with the US government on a national security deal continue to drag on.

US officials have raised concerns that China could use its laws to pressure TikTok or its parent, ByteDance, to hand over US user data that could be used for intelligence or disinformation purposes. Those concerns have prompted the US government to ban TikTok from official devices, and more than half of US states have taken similar measures, according to a CNN analysis.

Chew, who took over as TikTok CEO in April 2021, has largely stayed out of the spotlight at a time when the app he leads can’t seem to avoid it. Members of Congress previously grilled TikTok COO Vanessa Pappas, arguably the public face of the company in the United States, during a Senate hearing last year.

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