After the CEO of the viral video-sharing app TikTok appeared before Congress the previous week, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, reportedly stated on the following Sunday that legislators will move through with legislation seeking a statewide ban on TikTok.
Officials from the House Energy and Commerce Committee had previously requested that the CEO of TikTok, Shou Zi Chew, testify in front of the committee regarding concerns regarding national security, data privacy, and safety issues for the app’s 150 million users in the United States.
Chew failed to respond during the hearing to the question of whether or not persons linked with ByteDance, the Chinese parent firm of the social media site, assisted him in preparing for the hearing.
The lawmakers continued to press Chew, asking him if the app had spied on American citizens at the request of Beijing.
The CEO of the company denied that this had occurred, in spite of evidence to contrary existing.
McCarthy has indicated in the past that he would be in favor of a nationwide ban on TikTok.
McCarthy’s announcement comes at a time when lawmakers from both parties, Democrats and Republicans, have voiced concerns over allegations that the Chinese Communist Party has access to user data through links between TikTok and ByteDance, as well as the degree to which authorities in China maintain power and influence over both entities.
Previously reports had suggested that employees of ByteDance in China used the platform to monitor the locations of specific American users, thus creating a potential national security nightmare for the U.S. in the event of future hostilities between the U.S. and China.
As a result of these reports, President Joe Biden and several state officials have now reportedly banned TikTok from being used on government devices due to concerns regarding data security and surveillance.