TikTok CEO to face tough questions amid calls for US ban

It has faced sharp accusations that its US user data would be shared with the Chinese government and that it fails to adequately protect children from harm.

TikTok has said it has spent more than US$1.5 billion (S$2 billion) on what it calls rigorous data security efforts under the name “Project Texas”.

It currently has nearly 1,500 full-time employees and is contracted with Oracle to store TikTok’s US user data.

It also says it rigorously screens content that could harm children.

The House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee hearing will be chaired by Ms Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Republican who says she is unconvinced by TikTok’s security commitments.

“It’s clear that TikTok will say anything to … ensure that it is not banned in the United States,” she told Fox News.

Some political experts say a TikTok ban could be damaging to Democrats who have used the platform to reach younger voters.

Three House Democrats rallied with TikTok creators on Capitol Hill on Wednesday in opposition to a ban.

“Why the hysteria and the panic and the targeting of TikTok?“ asked Representative Jamaal Bowman, a Democrat from New York, at a news conference. “Let’s do the right thing here – comprehensive social media reform as it relates to privacy and security.”

Still, far more US lawmakers want TikTok banned.

TikTok last week said President Joe Biden’s administration demanded its Chinese owners divest their stakes or face a potential ban.


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