Tiktok boss wants to avert US ban by appealing to users
Washington Two days before a congressional hearing, Tiktok launches a campaign against an imminent ban on the app, which is particularly popular with young people, in the USA. “Some politicians are discussing a ban on Tiktok,” company boss Shou Zi Chew said in a post published on his video platform on Tuesday, which featured the US Capitol in the background. “This could take Tiktok away from all 150 million of you.”
He called on users to explain to US MPs in the comment column “what you love about Tiktok.” Because his company is at a crossroads.
At the same time, Tiktok announced new terms and conditions and offered further details on the planned improvement in protection for US user data. The company estimated spending on privacy efforts at more than $1.5 billion.
The app, which is best known for its short dance videos, claims to have increased the number of its US users from 100 to 150 million between 2020 and 2023. With a good 330 million US citizens, this corresponds to around 45 percent of the population. In addition, five million companies in the country use the platform to contact customers.
Tiktok and the Chinese mother Bytedance are under increased surveillance by the security authorities in numerous countries because of a possible transfer of user data to the government in Beijing. The companies and the People’s Republic have always rejected this accusation.
On Thursday, Chew is scheduled to answer questions from a US Congressional committee on these and other issues. A growing number of US lawmakers are backing an initiative to ban Tiktok entirely. The app has already been banned from service phones by the US federal government and the House of Representatives. The USA are also calling for Tiktok to be forked from Bytedance.