TikTok CEO tells users 'protect your constitutional rights' against TikTok ban in video


TikTok CEO Shou Chew is loudly protesting the continued success of a bill that would force Chinese divestment from the social media app.

The House of Representatives easily passed the proposed legislation on Wednesday requiring TikTok parent company Bytedance to divest from the app — or else ban TikTok’s distribution in the United States.

“Over the last few years, we have invested to keep your data safe and our platform free from outside manipulation. We have committed that we will continue to do so. This legislation, if signed into law, will lead to a ban of TikTok in the United States,” Chew claimed in the video.

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TikTok CEO, Shou Chew is seen during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing with representatives of social media companies at the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C.  (Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

“We will not stop fighting and advocating for you. We will continue to do all we can, including exercising our legal rights to protect this amazing platform that we have built with you,” Chew told users. “We believe we can overcome this together.”

The bill was led in the lower chamber by House China select committee Chair Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., and ranking member Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill. It passed with overwhelming bipartisan approval and a 352-65 vote.

President Biden has publicly stated he would sign the proposed TikTok divestment legislation if it reached his desk.

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Tiktok App Phone

In this photo illustration, the download page for the TikTok app is displayed on an Apple iPhone in Washington, D.C. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Its future in the Senate is unknown, as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has remained uncommitted to the idea of bringing it to the floor.

“Let’s see what the House does,” Schumer told reporters on Tuesday before the bill’s success in the lower chamber. “I’ll have to consult — and intend to consult — with my relevant committee chairmen to see what their views would be.”

However, the overwhelming bipartisan support for the bill thus far will make it difficult for Schumer and other senators to ignore.

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Tiktok protest

Participants hold signs in support of TikTok outside the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.  (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Chew concluded in his video, “I encourage you to keep sharing your stories, share them with your friends, share them with your family, share them with your senators. Protect your constitutional rights. Make your voices heard.”

TikTok’s critics have long warned that the social media app poses a national security threat. Lawmakers have cited concerns about the Chinese government’s ability to leverage its power over Bytedance to access sensitive user data.

China hawks have also warned that the app’s popularity among young Americans gives the ruling Chinese Communist Party a platform for a mass influence campaign.



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