America may be a step closer to banning TikTok
SummaryWhat the grilling in Congress means for the future of the app
“Your platform should be banned." The statement from Cathy Rodgers, a Republican congresswoman, kicked off a five-hour evisceration of TikTok’s chief executive, Shou Zi Chew, by American lawmakers. Both Democratic and Republican members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce grilled Mr Chew about the potential threats of the hugely popular short-video app to America’s national security. It was a rare display of political unity by the committee’s members, the result of new bipartisan hawkishness towards China. TikTok, though based in Singapore and Los Angeles, is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese company with headquarters in Beijing. As young people have flocked to the app—Mr Chew has bragged that more than 150m Americans are now users—lawmakers have grown more concerned about the data that the Chinese-owned company may be collecting, and the potential for the app to be used to spread propaganda on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).