TikTok CEO urges users to 'protect your Constitutional rights' after 'disappointing vote' in the House

The chief executive of TikTok expressed disappointment after the House passed a bill on Wednesday that could ban the popular social media app and urged users to contact their U.S. senators and urge them to vote against the bill, which now heads to the upper chamber.

In a video posted to TikTok, CEO Shou Chew pledged that he would not stop fighting to block the bill from being signed into law and urged the public to continue voicing opposition to it.

“We will not stop fighting and advocating for you. We will continue to do all we can, including exercising our legal rights to protect this amazing platform that we have built with you. We believe we can overcome this together,” Chew said in the video.

“I encourage you to keep sharing your stories, share them with your friends, share them with your family, share them with your senators. Protect your constitutional rights. Make your voices heard,” he added.

The House, in a 352-65 vote on Wednesday, easily passed The Protecting Americans From Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act. The bill would force ByteDance, TikTok’s China-based parent company, to divest the app within 165 days or face a ban in the U.S. from app stores and web-hosting services.

Supporters of the bill say it aims to curb the national security risks posed by ByteDance, which they say could share sensitive data from American users with the Chinese government. TikTok, however, has pushed back on accusations that it poses national security risks—a position Chew repeated in his video on TikTok.

He began his video by saying he wanted to share his thoughts about “the disappointing vote in the House of Representatives” and clarify misinformation.

“Over the last few years, we have invested to keep your data safe and our platform free from outside manipulation. We have committed that we will continue to do so,” he said. “This legislation, if signed into law, will lead to a ban of TikTok in the United States.”

It is unclear whether the Senate will bring up the legislation. In a statement, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the Senate “will review the legislation when it comes over from the House.” 

Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Vice Chair Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) issued a statement of support after the House vote and highlighted the lower chamber’s strong bipartisan support for the measure.

“We are united in our concern about the national security threat posed by TikTok – a platform with enormous power to influence and divide Americans whose parent company ByteDance remains legally required to do the bidding of the Chinese Communist Party,” they said.

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