TikTok CEO voices disappointment in House vote to ban social media platform

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TikTok’s CEO Shou Chew reacted to the “disappointing vote” by the House of Representatives that passed on Wednesday that could pave the way for the social media platform to be banned in U.S. app stores.

“This legislation, if signed into law, will lead to a ban of TikTok in the United States,” Chew said in a video posted on the TikTok Policy’s X platform. “Even the bill sponsors admit that that’s their goal. This bill gives more power to a handful of other social media companies,”

The CEO argued that banning the Chinese-owned app would negatively impact small businesses and put “more than 300,000 American jobs at risk.”

“You will also take billions of dollars out of the pockets of creators in small businesses. You will put more than 300,000 American jobs at risk, and it will take away your TikTok, and we know how important TikTok is to all of you,” Shou said. 

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Along with impacting small businesses and American jobs, the TikTok CEO said that the social media app “empowers” people to “freely express themselves.”

“It has given our 170 million users a platform to freely express themselves and it empowered more than 7 million businesses in the United States,” Shou said. “Our platform matters to the small business owners who rely on TikTok to make ends meet and to the teachers who inspire millions of students to learn and to everyone who discovers and finds joy on TikTok.”

Social Media CEOs

Shou concluded his video by insinuating that TikTok will exercise their “legal rights” to stop the ban.

“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. We believe we can overcome this together,” he said.

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He encouraged users to continue contacting senators and make their “voices heard.”

“I encourage you to keep sharing your stories, share them with your friends, share them with a family, share them with the senators, protect your constitutional rights, make your voices heard,” Shou said. “Love you all.”

TikTok CEO testifies before Congress

The TikTok CEO’s comments came after the House of Representatives passed the bill 352-65, with one abstention. 

Both Democrats and Republicans supported the measure, which advanced out of committee in a unanimous 50-0 bipartisan vote. 

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The bill, led by House China Select Committee Chair Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., and ranking member Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., would block TikTok in the U.S. if its parent company, Bytedance, does not divest from it within 165 days of passage. 

It would also require it to be bought by a country that is not a U.S. adversary.

TikTok deleted off iPhone

It’s not immediately clear if the Senate will take up the legislation.

TikTok’s critics have long called it a national security threat. They have cited concerns about the Chinese government’s ability to leverage its power over Bytedance to access sensitive user data, even in the U.S., something the company has repeatedly denied. 

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.

At the same time, lawmakers who are wary of the push to curb TikTok have cited First Amendment concerns and potential harm to small businesses who rely on it.

FOX Business has reached out to TikTok for comment.

Fox News’ Elizabeth Elkind contributed to this report.

Read the full article here

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