TikTok CEO sends fiery response to US government over bill to ban app

Virginia Glaze

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew slammed the House’s majority vote for Bytedance to either sell the viral video app or risk a ban in the US, calling the decision “disappointing.”

On March 13, the United States’ House of Representatives voted to pass a bill that would force ByteDance, TikTok’s Chinese parent company, to either sell the app or face a ban in America.

This decision follows years of contention surrounding TikTok in the US, with lawmakers outright prohibiting the app in states like Montana back in 2022 over concerns that the app is sharing data with the Chinese government to ‘spy’ on users.

While TikTok is still not banned in the United States at the time of writing, the House’s overwhelming majority vote to kick the app to the curb has sparked panic among users and creators alike… and now, the company’s CEO is speaking out.


TikTok CEO Shou Chew speaks out after House votes on app ban

On March 14, TikTok CEO Shou Chew published a message addressing the House’s recent vote, calling their decision “disappointing” and claiming it puts the pocketbooks of creators at risk.

“Over the last few years, we have invested to keep your data safe and to keep our platform free from outside manipulation,” he said. “We have committed that we will continue to do so.

“This legislation, if signed into law, will lead to a ban of TikTok in the United States. Even the bill’s sponsors admit that’s their goal. This bill gives more power to a handful of other social media companies. It will also take billions of dollars out of the pockets of creators and small businesses.”

Chew continued by saying a TikTok ban would “put 300,000 American jobs at risk” and argued that the platform gives its 170 million users a place to “freely express themselves.”

Overall, Chew’s argument centered on how TikTok helps American businesses and allows users a place for personal expression — something he says would be majorly detrimental to the US if it were to get taken away.

The House, for its part, argues that the bill is not meant to ban TikTok outright in America. Representative Mike Gallagher, a leading sponsor of the TikTok bill, claims that “what we’re after is, it’s not a ban, it’s a forced separation,” as told in a statement to NPR. “The TikTok user experience can continue and improve so long as ByteDance doesn’t own the company.”

For now, creators on TikTok are left in a panic as the bill makes its way upwards after the House’s vote made a ban on the app one step closer to being a reality.

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