TikTok CEO Urges Users to Defend Rights Amid US Ban Threat

Following the approval of a bill by the House of Representatives that could see TikTok outlawed in the United States, TikTok’s CEO, Shou Chew has urged its users to stand up for their constitutional rights. Chew hinted that the company would put up a legal battle if the bill becomes law. He assured users in a video message that the fight isn’t over and they’ll do everything possible, including using legal avenues, to protect the platform.

Furthermore, Chew implored TikTok’s American users to share their experiences with their loved ones and senators. According to him, if the bill becomes law, it would result in a ban on TikTok in the United States. He added that the sponsors of the bill agree that this is their aim.
The specified piece of legislation referred to as the “Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act,” was supported by both parties in the House and passed only a few days after its introduction.

It mandates ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company and Chinese entity, to sell TikTok to a U.S based company within half a year or risk being expelled from U.S app stores and web services.

TikTok has previously contested bans at the state level. It filed a lawsuit against Montana last year when the state attempted to prohibit its use. The ban was momentarily hindered by a federal judge in November before its official commencement. In the previous week, TikTok appealed to its 170 million U.S users to engage their representatives about the expected ban.

The appeal was made through a broadcast message stating, “Speak up now — before your government deprives 170 million Americans of their Constitutional right to free expression,” This prompted many high schoolers to flood the houses with calls, inquiries, including what the role of a Congressman is. This was, however, perceived by lawmakers as an attempt by the company to disrupt the legislative process.

In his plea, Chew argued that excluding TikTok would give a few other social media platforms more power. Similarly, Former President Donald Trump, who once sought to force ByteDance to sell TikTok in the U.S, recently voiced a similar opinion claiming that a ban on TikTok would favor Meta’s platform, Reels, a direct competitor to TikTok. Lastly, Chew postulated that blocking TikTok would adversely impact numerous American jobs, creators, and businesses.