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This Thursday, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew will be appearing before a congressional committee in the US. A grilling? More of a roasting, judging by some of the recent rhetoric in US political circles.

As part of the run-up to the hearing, TikTok has announced a new stat for its US business. It now has 150 million monthly active users there, which is up from the 100 million figure it published in August 2020.

Obviously the announcement of the new milestone is no coincidence: it’s a pointed reminder to politicians calling for a ban on TikTok of the app’s sheer scale in the US.

Well, more accurately it’s a pointed reminder to the politicians who haven’t called for a ban yet, and might still be swayable to TikTok’s cause. As US commerce secretary Gina Raimondo told Reuters: “The politician in me thinks you’re gonna literally lose every voter under 35, forever [if you ban TikTok].”

Talking of young people, the Washington Times reported that TikTok is “mobilizing a cadre of influencers to descend on Washington” for some last-minute lobbying tomorrow (Wednesday) ahead of the hearing.

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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