TikTok committed to keeping app safe, says CEO Chew Shou Zi after US Congress hearing

TikTok CEO Chew Shou Zi's testimony attempted to assuage US worries over the app's China-based parent company, ByteDance. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

A day after being grilled by United States lawmakers in Congress, TikTok chief executive Chew Shou Zi shared his thoughts about the hearing on the app’s official social media account.

In a video lasting more than a minute posted on Friday, the 40-year-old Singaporean reiterated that it was the company’s “responsibility to protect more than 150 million Americans who love and use” the popular short video-sharing app.

During Thursday’s hearing, lawmakers questioned Mr Chew about potential Chinese influence over the platform and said its short videos were damaging children’s mental health, reflecting bipartisan concerns about the app’s power over Americans.

His testimony, which lasted over four hours, attempted to assuage US worries over TikTok’s China-based parent company, ByteDance.

In his video, which has attracted over 20 million views so far, Mr Chew reiterated that TikTok would continue to keep safety, especially for teenagers, a top priority.

He also said that the company would continue to protect users’ data from unauthorised foreign access.

“Now in the US, American data will be stored on American soil by an American company overseen by American personnel,” said Mr Chew in the video, which was also a point that he made at the hearing.


Our CEO Shou shares his thoughts about the recent congressional hearing and everything TikTok is doing to make it a safe place to connect, create, share and learn.

♬ original sound - TikTok - TikTok

The company will also ensure that TikTok “remains a platform for free expression and that it cannot be manipulated by any government”, he added.

Mr Chew also said the company “will be transparent and give access to third-party independent monitors to keep us accountable for our commitments”.

“Now we know that trust is built with every decision we make, and we are proud of the ground-breaking work we are doing to be the most trusted platform in the world,” he added.

Since testifying at the hearing, Mr Chew has been touted as the new “zaddy”, an Internet slang for an attractive man who is charming, self-confident and stylish.

Prior to the hearing, he had more than 18,000 followers on his personal TikTok account, @shou.time.

As at Sunday morning, that number had swelled to over 373,000.

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