Ahead of TikTok CEO Shout Zi Chew’s appearance at a US congressional hearing tomorrow, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce has published his written testimony.
It sets out his defence against the various accusations that have been recently levelled against TikTok by politicians in the US. Chief among them: links to China via its parent company ByteDance.
“Let me state this unequivocally: ByteDance is not an agent of China or any other country,” he will tell the committee, stressing that “it is not owned or controlled by any government or state entity”.
The testimony also covers issues including child safety, data privacy and content moderation: it’s the fullest summary yet of TikTok’s case for its defence.
These are all fast-moving wheels, of course. Just yesterday, TikTok published its “refreshed” community guidelines, including expanding its rules on synthetic media (including deepfakes) and detailing more of its approach to civic and election integrity, including political accounts.
Remember, politicians aren’t the only audience for this. Chew also appeared yesterday in a video posted to TikTok’s own TikTok account, addressing its American users about recent calls for the app to be banned in the US.
“Some politicians have started talking about banning TikTok. Now this could take TikTok away from all 150 million of you…”
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