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Sunday, March 19, 2023

CEO of TikTok Argues Sale Won't Solve National Security Concerns

Looks like TikTok's got 99 problems, but a glitch ain't one

Dancing to a beat,
TikTok takes us on a ride,
Brief moments of joy.

This is arguably the most transparent power move of the decade.  

Ironically, many Americans rely on TikTok with direct ties to a communist government for their news.  This says more about how much WE DON'T TRUST our own media than the cleverness of the Chinese government. This speaks volumes about the lack of trust in our own media, rather than the ingenuity of the Chinese government.

First, the US congress is full of "Olds" who can barely use email, let alone spell "A I" - there is no way they understand the social impact or technical workings of the "interwebs".  And that crusty old-geezer yells at everyone, even the mailman, I mean mailperson, to "Get off my lawn!" just before tumbling off the porch - he doesn't know sh8t about technology.

Second, ban it and they will come.  Let me ask a technical question, "is there a way to ban the use of a software internet app?"  The day TikTok gets 'banned' is the day the number of users doubles.

Third, Microsoft, Google, Meta, and any other social network aren't coming to defend TikTok's right to exist - no other app comes close to the number of users and popularity.  They are losing to TikTok - so why not call in Uncle Sam?  If you can't beat em, legislate them out of existence, it's the American way.

The best way to kill TikTok is to mandate everyone born before 1960 download and start using TikTok.  Instantly the app is uncool.

I've prompted into existence the following tale. ChPt3.5, inspired by, the WSJ.


  1. TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew argues that selling the app to an American owner won't address national security concerns.
  2. TikTok has been negotiating technical safeguards to separate its US operations from its Chinese ownership for over a year.
  3. The US government is concerned that TikTok's Chinese ownership could be used to spy on American users or interfere with communications.
  4. TikTok has spent billions of dollars to move its users' data to US- and Europe-based servers and hire independent monitors to protect user data.
  5. TikTok's CEO is scheduled to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee to make a case that it can mitigate national security concerns.
In a recent statement, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew pushed back against the US government's demand to sell the popular video-sharing app to an American owner, arguing that such a move would not solve the underlying issues.

As previously reported, TikTok has been under scrutiny over concerns that its Chinese ownership could be used to spy on American users or interfere with communications. While the Biden administration has taken a more measured approach than its predecessor, US policymakers have not backed down on their demands for increased safeguards against Chinese influence over the app's operations.

TikTok has been negotiating technical safeguards to separate its US operations from its Chinese ownership for over a year, but US officials have remained unconvinced. The standoff has turned TikTok into one of the biggest flashpoints in the wider US-China conflict.

In his recent statement, Chew argued that TikTok's multibillion-dollar plan, which involves hiring American partner Oracle Corp to store US users' data and safeguard against Chinese influence, should address all national security risks. The company has also spent billions of dollars to move its users' data to US- and Europe-based servers and hire independent monitors to protect user data and insulate its video-picking algorithm from outside influence.

The ramped-up push against TikTok has not been accompanied by any specific intelligence showing China has begun to wield the app in a manner that threatens US national security, according to congressional aides and former officials.

The CEO's statement comes ahead of his scheduled testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee next week, which will be TikTok's highest-profile opportunity to make a case that it can mitigate national security concerns. He has acknowledged critics' concerns and hopes that they can seriously evaluate the multibillion-dollar plan on its merits. The company has also hired experienced Washington advisers to respond to critics and is acclimating to prepare for his Capitol Hill testimony.

Despite TikTok's efforts to address national security concerns, US officials remain concerned that the app could provide a lever of foreign influence or control over public discourse. With tensions between the US and China showing no signs of easing, the TikTok saga looks set to continue for some time. 

The CEO's recent statement suggests that the company may have to find other ways to address national security concerns, as the US government shows no signs of backing down. 


Tweet: TikTok CEO argues that selling the app to an American owner won't address national security concerns. Read more on this topic: #TikTok #NationalSecurity #ChineseOwnership

Introduction paragraph/LinkedIn post: As the TikTok saga continues to unfold, concerns surrounding the national security risks posed by the video-sharing app's Chinese ownership have remained a top priority for the US government. Despite TikTok's efforts to negotiate technical safeguards, the US government remains unconvinced, and the CEO's recent statement has highlighted the need for alternative solutions. In this article, we delve into the latest developments surrounding TikTok and the national security concerns raised by US policymakers.

Keywords: TikTok, national security, Chinese ownership, US government, technical safeguards, CEO statement

Search question: What are the national security concerns surrounding TikTok's Chinese ownership?

Song suggestion: "Tightrope" by Janelle Monáe. This song is all about balancing different worlds and trying to stay true to oneself in the midst of it all, which is a fitting theme for the TikTok saga and the challenges faced by the app's Chinese ownership in navigating the demands of US policymakers.

Image prompt: A split image with one side depicting the TikTok logo and the other side depicting the American flag, with a red line or barrier separating the two sides. This could symbolize the tension between TikTok's Chinese ownership and US national security concerns, and the challenge of finding a solution that satisfies both parties.

A song that could go with the theme of the article is "Demons" by Imagine Dragons. The song's lyrics touch upon the idea of fighting against an unseen force or threat, which could represent the US government's concerns regarding TikTok's Chinese ownership and the app's efforts to address those concerns.

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