TikTok ban – latest: Complete app shutdown looms as CEO set to testify at Congress
TikTok is facing a complete ban in the US over fears that China is using the app as a covert tool for spying and spreading propaganda.
CEO Shou Chew will testify before Congress on Thursday, with members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee set to raise their concerns about how much access the Chinese government has to user data, as well as how much influence the Chinese Communist Party has over it.
TikTok has consistently denied such allegations, though this has not stopped the US and other countries from banning the app from government and military-issued devices.
Some countries like India have even issued a nationwide ban of TikTok and dozens of other Chinese apps as a result of national security worries.
With more than 150 million TikTok users in the US, many will be following Thursday’s proceedings closely to see if Biden’s administration follows India by banning TikTok.
You can follow all the latest news and updates in our live coverage here.
15:01 , Anthony Cuthbertson
Shou Chew has less than 24 hours to wait before he appears before Congress at 10am local time (2pm GMT) on Thursday, 23 March.
He has already posted a TikTok asking US users what they want their elected representatives to know about “what you love” about TikTok.
“I’ll be testifying before Congress this week to share all that we’re doing to protect Americans using the app and deliver on our mission to inspire creativity and to bring joy,” he said in the post published to TikTok’s main account.
His own account has been remarkably quiet considering he’s the boss of the app, having posted less than a couple of dozen times in its history. His low profile is in keeping with his public persona, which he has managed to keep extremely private compared to the heads of other tech giants.
There’s only six sentences on his Wikipedia page, but if you want to find out more you can read this:
How a Facebook intern became the boss of TikTok
Hello and welcome...
14:43 , Anthony Cuthbertson
to The Independent’s coverage of TikTok and the looming US ban. We’ll be bringing you all the latest news and developments as CEO Shou Chew prepares to face questions from lawmakers in Washington on Thursday.
His appearance could prove pivotal to whether or not the Biden Administration decides to push forward with a complete ban of the hugely popular app, having already blocked it from devices used by government workers and military personnel. TikTok was the most downloaded app in the US last year, with any action set to impact more than 150 million users.