TikTok CEO Faces 5-Hour Grilling In Congressional Hearing — Here Are The Must-See Clips (VIDEO)

Written by K. Walker on March 24, 2023

On Thursday, TikTok’s CEO Shou Zi Chew testified before U.S. lawmakers in a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing about the social media platform.

Chew faced more than 5 hours of grilling by lawmakers, but the biggest takeaway from the hearing is that TikTok had done what was seemingly impossible — it united Republicans and Democrats.

U.S. lawmakers on Thursday battered TikTok’s CEO about potential Chinese influence over the platform and said its short videos were damaging children’s mental health, reflecting bipartisan concerns about the app’s power over Americans.
CEO Shou Zi Chew’s testimony before Congress did little to assuage U.S. worries over TikTok’s China-based parent company ByteDance and added fresh momentum to lawmakers’ calls to ban the platform nationwide.
Over five hours of testimony, Chew repeatedly denied the app shares data or has connections with the Chinese Communist Party and argued the platform was doing everything to ensure safety for its 150 million American users…
…not a single lawmaker offered support for TikTok, as they deemed Chew’s answers on China evasive and aired concerns over the power the app holds over U.S. children.
Others accused TikTok of promoting content that encourages eating disorders among children, illegal drug sales and sexual exploitation.
“TikTok could be designed to minimize the harm to kids, but a decision was made to aggressively addict kids in the name of profits,” said Representative Kathy Castor, a Democrat, at the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce committee hearing.
Source: Reuters

Here are some of the highlights:

In his opening statement, TikTok CEO Shou Chew makes 4 commitments

It went downhill quickly…

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s damning opening remarks

When asked who his manager is, Chew says that he reports to the CEO of ByteDance

Chew says that ByteDance is not owned or controlled by the Chinese government

As an aside, WaPo’s tech reporter got (deservedly) dragged on social media by Tablet Magazine’s tech reporter for downplaying TikTok’s connections to the Chinese Communist Party.

Chew won’t confirm or deny that he had help from ByteDance preparing for the hearing

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) asks about TikTok spying on Americans and pushing pro-CCP messaging

When asked if TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, is “spying” on Americans, Chew says that he wouldn’t call it “spying”

Chew insists that TikTok doesn’t collect more data than any other social media company

Chew says that TikTok doesn’t promote or remove content at the behest of the CCP

Chew doesn’t deny that Bytedance employees in China have access to user data

Chew admits that the CCP has the ability to manipulate content on TikTok

Rep. Kat Cammack (R-FL) has a mic drop moment

TikTok’s algorithm allows very disturbing content to spread in the U.S.

Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA) grills Chew about deadly “challenges” that spread in the U.S. and if they spread in China

TikTok CEO doesn’t answer the question about whether the U.S. and Chinese versions of TikTok have the same source code

TikTok CEO dodges the question about the CCP persecution of the Uyghurs

Enes Cantor Freedom posted a couple of interesting videos in response to the testimony

Well, that looks like it might be a problem for Shou Chew…

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Shepardson, David, and Ayyub, Rami. “TikTok congressional hearing: CEO Shou Zi Chew grilled by US lawmakers.” Reuters. March 24, 2023. https://www.reuters.com/technology/tiktok-ceo-face-tough-questions-support-us-ban-grows-2023-03-23/

ClashDaily's Associate Editor since August 2016. Self-described political junkie, anti-Third Wave Feminist, and a nightmare to the 'intersectional' crowd. Mrs. Walker has taken a stand against 'white privilege' education in public schools. She's also an amateur Playwright, former Drama teacher, and staunch defender of the Oxford comma. Follow her humble musings on Twitter: @TheMrsKnowItAll and on Gettr @KarenWalker