TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew is headed to Congress to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee to address questions about the social media platform's privacy and data security practices, its impact on kids, and its relationship with the Chinese government.
"ByteDance-owned TikTok has knowingly allowed the ability for the Chinese Communist Party to access American user data," Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash. 5th District) said in a press release. "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."
TikTok denied charges that it has shared personal information with the Chinese Communist Party. “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," the company said in a statement.
Despite these claims, a number of state governments and universities have banned the use of TikTok on government-owned computer devices in recent weeks. Biden passed a similar ban for the federal government at the end of last year.
Rodgers noted that the hearing fits into the committee's recent pattern of scrutinizing Big Tech.
“We’ve made our concerns clear with TikTok,” she said. "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.”
The hearing on March 23 will be Chew's first official visit to Capitol Hill. The executive has largely avoided the limelight since taking over in April 2021, while Chief Operating Officer Vanessa Pappas has served as the company's public face in the U.S.