Congress considering nationwide ban on TikTok

More than 150 million TikTok-saavy Americans could be in jeopardy of losing the popular video app if the U.S. government has its way.

On March 23, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew addressed Congress as a bipartisan group of lawmakers grilled him on their concerns about TikTok’s data collection and owner ByteDance’s potential ties to the Chinese government.

“Here is a CEO that can’t tell you that China’s not spying on the data, acknowledging that that’s happening,” House Speaker Kevin Mccarthy said at the time. “I think you can find a very bipartisan bill to come out of Energy and Commerce. I know the Senate is working on one, but I believe the House will get one done and will pass it through as well.”

Throughout the hearing, Chew maintained that the platform operates the same as U.S.-based social media companies like Meta or Twitter and TikTok’s parent company ByteDance is not an agent of the Chinese government. U.S.-based data stays in the U.S., Chew said.

“Our approach has never been to dismiss or trivialize any of these concerns,” Chew said after the hearing. “We have addressed them with real action. The bottom line is this; American data, stored on American soil, by an American company, overseen by American personnel.”

Despite widespread support for a TikTok ban among U.S. lawmakers, millions of Millennials and Generation Z who have made the app part of their daily lives say they’re not on board with this potential ban.

“There are valid concerns about mental health issues and security issues, no one’s denying that,” said TikTok influencer Ashley Renne Nsonwu. “However, my concern is the singling out of this particular app. I think that’s the concern for a lot of people who use TikTok. Why TikTok and not everyone else?”

McCarthy announced via Twitter that Congress will be moving forward with anti-TikTok legislation.

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