TikTok has now reached 150 million users in the U.S. CEO will tell Congress

When TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew testifies before Congress, he will unveil new internal data that suggests the app's more enmeshed in U.S. lives than anyone realizes.

According to someone familiar with the plans, several dozen TikTok creators including entertainers, small business owners and activists who view the app as a key to their livelihoods are expected to be in Washington Wednesday to meet with legislators and hold a news conference.

The Information first reported the lobbying effort. It will primarily present an economic argument: That banning TikTok would cause financial hardship for Americans who depend on it to generate income, will be primary.

Jamal Brown, a TikTok spokesperson, stated that “TikTok creators” are small-business owners who want to earn a living and provide food for their families, teachers who educate the next generation of leaders and everyday innovators who represent the breadth and diversity of America. Washington’s lawmakers should listen to people whose lives could be affected by TikTok decisions.

It is hard to predict the political consequences of a TikTok ban. The possibility of a ban is possible because Biden is expected in 2024 to run a re-election campaign. Additionally, the sheer number TikTok users across the U.S. indicates that he could be charged if he runs — something he has stated.

To illustrate how Biden’s governing strategies and political strategies clash when it comes TikTok the president appeared on Friday in a video on YouTube with Niall Horan, an Irish singer, at the White House’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

But when Biden was asked last month if TikTok should be banned in the U.S., he said “I’m still not sure” and added: “I know that I don’t have this on my phone.”

According to TikTok’s senior Democratic strategist, Chew will not cite children below 13 years old in the 150 million Americans Chew will be citing in his congressional testimony on Thursday.

The strategist stated that only 12 million of the 150 million users are below the age of 18. This is about 8%. It means that some 138 million regular TikTok users are eligible to vote. Some of the 12,000,000 regular TikTok users that are below the age of 18 years old will also be eligible to vote in 2024.

Recent Quinnipiac survey found that 49% of Americans support a TikTok ban within the U.S. and 42% oppose one.

According to the poll, Americans aged 18-34 years are more opposed to a nationwide ban than those who support it. 63% of respondents oppose a ban, while 33% support one. Voters below 35 years old tend to vote for Democrats by large margins.

According to a breakdown of the polls among political parties, a ban could be more damaging for Democrats: 64% of Republicans support a ban and 50% of Independents do so. 51% of Democrats are against a ban.

TikTok is just one of many high-stakes flashpoints in the strained U.S.-China relationship.

Wang Wenbin, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, stated at a press conference that the U.S. had yet to show with evidence that TikTok threatens their national security.

TikTok is a target of the U.S. government since several years. Former President Donald Trump tried to ban the app in 2020 but was blocked by the courts. The idea has only recently gained momentum in Washington.

China passed a law that China approved in 2020 after Trump tried to ban TikTok. This added to the government’s list of technologies that cannot be exported. The algorithm TikTok uses could therefore be off limits and Beijing could refuse any sale.

TikTok sought to address U.S. security concerns by proposing to it to hire an American company for the storage of data from U.S. citizens who use the app.

In an interview with this week, Chew stated that the Biden administration’s demand for TikTok Chinese stakeholder to divest would not address the concerns raised by U.S. officials.

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