Social media app company TikTok faced fresh criticism after CEO Alex Zhu delayed meetings with US politicians meant to quell fears the app is subject to Chinese government influence.
Zhu was set to meet with two of TikTok’s biggest critics, Senators Marsha Blackburn and Josh Hawley, this week to address concerns related to censorship and privacy of US users on the platform stemming from TikTok’s China connection.
While the company is headquartered in the US, parent ByteDance is based in China.
In a statement to The Washington Post, TikTok said it had “no higher priority than ensuring” politicians questions were tackled “fully and transparently” but added Zhu’s meetings would be postponed until after the festive period, claiming this would result in more meaningful talks.
Blackburn and Hawley questioned the explanation in Twitter posts, with the latter suggesting TikTok received a “call from Beijing” about the planned meetings.
TikTok previously insisted it is not influenced by any overseas government, and noted data from US users is stored within the country, with none of the information subject to Chinese law.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back