TikTok’s CEO Shou Zi Chew will testify in a Congressional hearing set to take place on March 23.
The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee on Monday announced the committee appearance via press release.
TikTok’s ties to its China-based parent company, Bytedance, has received mounting scrutiny in recent years. The U.S. federal government recently banned the mobile viral video app from government-issued devices.
While many such congressional hearings on Big Tech have focused on more than one company or platform in the industry, this will be one with a hyper focus on TikTok. The hearing will be centered on “TikTok’s consumer privacy and data security practices, the platforms’ impact on kids, and their relationship with the Chinese Communist Party,” the release states.
The Trump administration tried to outright ban the TikTok app from the U.S. in 2020 but was blocked from doing so at the time. To help alleviate concerns from lawmakers regarding its U.S. users’ safety, TikTok partnered with Oracle in order to route U.S. traffic through the U.S.-based company’s servers.
Congressional Republicans have continued to set their sights on TikTok due to its ties with the China-based Bytedance. With Republicans now in control of the House, one of their first orders of business appears to be to take on the video platform that is incredibly popular with young people in the United States.
This won’t be TikTok’s very first appearance before Congress as the company has sent representatives to testify in previous hearings. However, this does mark its CEO’s first appearance.
UPDATE: Jan. 30, 2023, 5:09 p.m. EST TikTok provided a statement regarding the hearing to Mashable.
“We welcome the opportunity to set the record straight about TikTok, ByteDance, and the commitments we are making to address concerns about U.S. national security before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce,” said TikTok spokesperson Brooke Oberwetter. “We hope that by sharing details of our comprehensive plans with the full Committee, Congress can take a more deliberative approach to the issues at hand.”