Lawmakers to move forward with TikTok bill: McCarthy
Growing calls to ban TikTok, owned by China-based mother company ByteDance, have risen over the past few weeks, with some calling the ban campaign a "xenophobic witch hunt".
Lawmakers will move forward with legislation to address security concerns regarding the video-sharing app TikTok, over claims that the app gives the Chinese government user information, said Kevin McCarthy, US House of Representatives Speaker, on Sunday.
Growing calls to ban TikTok, owned by China-based mother company ByteDance, have risen over the past few weeks. The US government is seeking to have the application banned from the United States.
As a start, the application was banned on US government officials' devices.
“The House will be moving forward with legislation to protect Americans from the technological tentacles of the Chinese Communist Party,” McCarthy said on Twitter.
It's very concerning that the CEO of TikTok can't be honest and admit what we already know to be true—China has access to TikTok user data.— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) March 26, 2023
The House will be moving forward with legislation to protect Americans from the technological tentacles of the Chinese Communist Party.
TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew argued before a US House Committee for five hours on Thursday to convince lawmakers that the company does not give the Chinese government the personal data of users, as confirmed by the Chinese government itself.
Chew declines any allegations which presume that the app had ever spied on Americans at Beijing's request.
Republican Representative Neal Dunn referred to the incident where two ByteDance employees improperly accessed the TikTok user data of two journalists who are no longer employed at the company.
“I don’t think that spying is the right way to describe it,” Chew said. We then explained that the incident included an "internal investigation".
The company mentioned that it spent more than $1.5 billion on data security efforts under the name of "project Texas".
China "has never and will not require companies or individuals to collect or provide data located in a foreign country, in a way that violates local law," Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning told a regular briefing.
"The US government has so far not provided any evidence that TikTok poses a threat to its national security, but instead has repeatedly made presumptions of guilt and unreasonable suppression" against the company, Mao added.
Chew's appearance before Congress on Thursday “actually increased the likelihood that Congress will take some action,” Representative Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, the Republican chairman of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, told ABC News on Sunday.
It is worth noting that former US President Donald Trump lost a series of court rulings back in 2020 when he wanted to ban TikTok and WeChat, raising the same concerns.