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US Senator Grills TikTok CEO on Alleged Ties to Chinese Communist Party

During a hearing in Washington DC on Wednesday, US Senator Tom Cotton persistently questioned Shou Zi Chew, the CEO of the Chinese-owned social media app TikTok, regarding his alleged links to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Despite Chew consistently asserting his Singaporean nationality, Senator Cotton pressed him on citizenship, passport, and CCP membership. In response, Chew firmly stated, “Senator, I’m Singaporean. No.”

TikTok, owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, faced scrutiny as Chew denied any sharing of US users’ data with the Chinese government or receiving requests for such information. Chew’s testimony occurred alongside CEOs from Meta, X, and other social media companies, who were collectively grilled by US lawmakers concerning the safety risks children and teens encounter on these platforms.

The hearing, held before the US Senate Judiciary Committee, unfolded amidst growing concerns from parents and lawmakers. The focus was on the perceived inadequacy of companies in addressing online dangers for children, including issues such as preventing suicide and blocking sexual predators. The executives faced an onslaught of questions and criticisms from both lawmakers and concerned parents.

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