WASHINGTON (The Hill) – Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said that the House will move forward with a proposed TikTok ban bill after the social media platform’s CEO Shou Zi Chew testified before Congress on Thursday.
“It’s very concerning that the CEO of TikTok can’t be honest and admit what we already know to be true—China has access to TikTok user data,” McCarthy wrote in a tweet on Sunday.
“The House will be moving forward with legislation to protect Americans from the technological tentacles of the Chinese Communist Party.”
Several lawmakers in recent months have introduced legislation that would prohibit the downloading and use of TikTok nationally in the U.S.
McCarthy said that he would support a nationwide ban on TikTok, noting there’s already a “bipartisan concern” with lawmakers on security risks the social media platform brings.
“I think you see a bipartisan concern here with what’s happening on TikTok, especially what’s happening to the data for Americans,” McCarthy told reporters on Thursday. “There’s many different ramifications here, so I think they could come together and let the committees do their work and see what the product comes out when it gets done.”
McCarthy also said that the Trump administration was right with its initial concerns about TikTok, noting that a congressional hearing would’ve had a different standpoint if ByteDance sold its stake in TikTok to a U.S.-based company.
McCarthy’s remarks come as Chew testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee members on Thursday, as members of the bipartisan committee grilled Chew on their concerns about the platform which included national security threats, data privacy, the spread of misinformation, and the safety for minors.
Multiple state governments and Congress in recent months have implemented TikTok bans on government devices, citing national security concerns due to its Chinese owner ByteDance.
U.S. officials have had a rocky relationship with TikTok over the past year.
The Biden administration recently demanded ByteDance sell its stakes in the company, warning that the social media platform could risk a potential ban in the U.S.
In a separate statement, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) said that Chew’s testimony to Congress didn’t help relieve the tensions between the two sides.
“TikTok did itself no favors on Thursday when CEO Shou Zi Chew gave his testimony,” Krishnamoorthi wrote in a tweet. “In fact, some of the answers he gave only raised more questions about the enormous existing security risks I’ve been fighting to address.”