Lawmakers prepare to grill TikTok CEO amid calls to ban the app

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — TikTok’s CEO is about to be in the hot seat on Capitol Hill.

At a highly anticipated hearing this week, lawmakers will get the chance to grill him as they weigh legislation to ban the app altogether.

On Thursday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing focused on the popular app. TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew is scheduled to answer questions about that hearing.

Lawmakers are expected to address concerns about what data the Chinese-owned app collects, who has access to it, and how the app could be used for propaganda.

Congressman Debbie Dingell is one of the lawmakers on the committee who will get the chance to question Chew.

“I do have concerns,” Dingell said. “I’m going to do what a responsible policy maker does, going to have the hearings, going to talk to people, going to get the facts.”

This issue is uniting lawmakers from both parties as they consider how to threats that TikTok poses.

Senator Josh Hawley is behind one of the bills that would ban the app from the US.

“Unless they firewall themselves from the Chinese communist party, they need to be banned,” Hawley said.

There are reports the White House is pushing TikTok parent company ByteDance to sell the app to American owners. Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre wouldn’t confirm whether the administration plans to ban TikTok if that doesn’t happen.

“The president, believes that it’s important to to protect the privacy and the safety of Americans,” Jean-Pierre said.

Senator Mark Warner is leading a bipartisan push to pass a bill to give the Biden administration more power to crack down on TikTok, including with a possible ban. Sen. Warner has long said the app presents national security risks.

“TikTok has to answer to the communist party, it’s Chinese law. So, your data is in jeopardy to be used in malicious ways down the line,” Warner said.

TikTok is already banned from federal devices and from government devices in several states as well.

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