TikTok CEO urges Americans to “protect their constitutional rights” and prevent US platform blockade

In the wake of the US House of Representatives advancing a bill that threatens to compel the divestiture of TikTok from ByteDance or effectively banning the platform, Shou Chew, the head of TikTok released a statement urging users to ‘protect their constitutional rights’. Chew hinted at legal retaliation if the law came into force.

“We will not cease to fight and defend you. We will continue to do everything possible, including exercising our legal rights, to protect this remarkable platform we’ve built together,” Chew said. He urged American TikTok users to share their stories with friends, family members, and senators. “This law, if passed, will lead to the banning of TikTok in the US. Even the authors of the bill acknowledge this as their goal,” added the platform’s CEO.

The TikTok boss further addressed employees saying, “Our strategy remains constant: we believe the best way to resolve national security issues is the transparent protection of user data and systems in the US with reliable third-party monitoring.” He expressed disappointment that the House of Representatives voted in favor of the bill saying, “while the outcome was expected, I want to emphasize that this vote is the beginning (and not the end) of a long process.”

 TikTok App Image source: Solen Feyissa / unsplash.com

The “Protection of American Citizens from Applications Controlled by Hostile Nations Act,” advanced by the House only a few days after its introduction. If the document becomes law, China-based ByteDance will be forced to sell TikTok to an American company within six months or face restrictions from accessing US app stores and hosting services.

Last week, TikTok administration sent over 170 million push notifications to US users urging them to contact their representatives about the potential ban. This resulted in high school students inundating representatives with calls asking, “What is a congressman?” Lawmakers criticized this action and called it an attempt to interfere with the legislative process.

Shou Chew also highlighted that a ban on TikTok would favor competing social platforms and disadvantage hundreds of thousands of American workers, bloggers, and small business representatives.

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