TikTok Usage in U.S. Jumped 50% Says CEO

TikTok Usage in U.S. Jumped 50% Says CEO

News by Roberto Orosa
Published: March 20, 2023

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew claims that the social media app has jumped “usership” in the U.S. by 50% and plans to unveil more internal data as he faces Congress this Thursday.  

According to a senior democratic strategist for TikTok, Chew will state before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce that the app’s monthly active users in the U.S. have reached 150 million – revealing to them how ingrained TikTok is to the daily lives of Americans.  

The CEO’s testimony will mark his first appearance in Congress, where he will lean on the app’s content creators to face claims that TikTok is a national threat to security.  

TikTok creators, entertainers and activists are also reported to show up in Washington ahead of Chew’s testimony, with plans to meet with lawmakers and hold a news conference.  

“TikTok creators are small business owners trying to make a living and put food on their tables, teachers educating the next generation of leaders, and everyday innovators who represent the breadth of America,” TikTok spokesperson Jamal Brown explained, urging lawmakers to hear firsthand accounts of people whose livelihoods will be directly affected.  

For the past months, the popular video app has received threats of being banned in the U.S. over allegations that ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, is giving Beijing access to user data.  

Last week, ByteDance was contacted by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) urging it to sell its stake in the social media app instead of risking a ban. 

However, TikTok believes that divestment would not solve the problem, and that changing the app’s ownership would not mean a change in data access restrictions. 

"The best way to address concerns about national security is with the transparent, U.S.-based protection of U.S. user data and systems, with robust third-party monitoring, vetting and verification, which we are already implementing," Tiktok spokesperson Oberwetter said. 

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