TikTok’s CEO will tell US lawmakers that the Chinese-owned short video app, which has over 150 million American users, has never and will never share user data with the Chinese government, despite growing US national security concerns.
“TikTok has never shared, or received a request to share, U.S. user data with the Chinese government. Nor would TikTok honor such a request if one were ever made,” CEO Shou Zi Chew will testify on Thursday, according to written testimony posted on Tuesday by the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee.
He also stated that ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, is not owned or controlled by any government or state entity.
“Let me state this unequivocally: ByteDance is not an agent of China or any other country,” Chew will say to the committee.
TikTok’s detractors are concerned that the app’s U.S. user data will be passed on to China’s government, prompting increased calls from U.S. lawmakers to ban the app.
TikTok said last week that the Biden administration demanded that its Chinese owners divest their stake in the app or face a U.S. ban.
TikTok’s testimony before Congress on Thursday comes amid growing calls for the short video app to be banned across the United States, and it is one of the Chinese company’s most detailed rebuttals to the accusations levelled against it.
TikTok claims to have spent more than $1.5 billion on “rigorous data security efforts” under the guise of “Project Texas,” and has attempted to persuade lawmakers and the Biden administration to support the plan.
TikTok announced on Monday that more than 150 million people in the United States use the app on a monthly basis, up from 100 million in 2020. According to Chew’s testimony, the average user today is an adult well past college age.