The Morning After: What TikTok's CEO told Congress about the app’s ties to China

The app's future in the United States is still uncertain.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

It turned into a five-hour showdown between TikTok CEO Shou Chew and US lawmakers, who have found suspicion of TikTok to be a rare source of bipartisan agreement. It comes as US officials told the company they could ban the app if it doesn’t separate itself from ByteDance.

As with previous hearings with social media executives, lawmakers pressed Chew for often impossible yes-no answers to complex questions and grew frustrated when he declined to give one. In one exchange, Representative Tony Cardenas asked Chew whether ByteDance was a Chinese company. He would only admit it was a “global” firm with a Chinese founder. The hearing was also notably different from previous hearings with other social media company CEOs because the vast majority of lawmakers are not active on TikTok. Not all of their questions were nuanced, either: Representative Richard Hudson demanded to know if TikTok can “access the home WiFi network.” TikTok’s future remains uncertain, Chinese officials said Thursday they opposed a sale of the social network.

– Mat Smith.

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