As TikTok CEO Shou Chew prepares to testify in front of Congress this week, he’s turning directly to the social video app’s users to gain support.
Chew took to TikTok on Tuesday to announce that app now has 150 million monthly active users in the US. “That’s almost half of the US coming to TikTok to connect, to create, to share, to learn or just have some fun,” he said. That count includes 5 million businesses that use TikTok to reach customers, Chew said.
Chew is set to appear in front of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Thursday to speak about TikTok’s privacy and data practices.
TikTok has been dealing with increased scrutiny from lawmakers over concerns that data from users in the US could be passed on to China’s government. Earlier this month, the Biden administration demanded that ByteDance, the app’s Chinese parent company, sell its stake in the app or face a possible ban in the US.
Our CEO, Shou Chew, shares a special message on behalf of the entire TikTok team to thank our community of 150 million Americans ahead of his congressional hearing later this week.
♬ original sound – TikTok
“Some politicians have started talking about banning TikTok,” said Chew in the TikTok, “[and] this could take away TikTok from all 150 million of you.” Chew said he plans to tell the House committee “all that we are doing to protect Americans using the app.”
Chew then calls upon American users to write in the comments what they want representatives to know and why they love TikTok. The video already has more than 2 million views.
Despite its popularity, TikTok was been banned from government devices in December over concerns the app could pose a threat to national security. Other countries, including Canada and EU member states, have taken similar steps.
TikTok has repeatedly said it doesn’t share data with the Chinese government. The company has taken several steps in an attempt assuage concerns, including sharing data with university-affiliated researchers and partnering with Oracle to store US users’ data.