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TikTok CEO to Testify Before House Panel in March

The hearing will cover a range of topics, such as TikTok's ties to the Chinese government.

Zachary McAuliffe Staff writer
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TikTok logo on a phone screen

TikTok has faced scrutiny from state governments and the federal government over national security.

James Martin/CNET

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew has agreed to testify before a US House of Representatives panel on March 23. 

The House Energy and Commerce Committee announced Monday that it will discuss the heavily scrutinized app's consumer privacy and data security, the app's influence on children and the app's relationship with the Chinese government through parent company ByteDance. 

"ByteDance-owned TikTok has knowingly allowed the ability for the Chinese Communist Party to access American user data," the committee wrote. "Americans deserve to know how these actions impact their privacy and data security."

TikTok pushed back against these accusations.

"There is no truth to [the] claim that TikTok has made U.S. user data available to the Chinese Communist Party," a TikTok spokesperson told CNET in an email. "We welcome the opportunity to set the record straight about TikTok, ByteDance, and the commitments we are making to address concerns about U.S. national security."

The hearing comes as more and more government agencies -- at both the state and federal level -- have tried to limit TikTok's reach. 

Earlier in January, Ohio and New Jersey became the latest states to ban TikTok from being downloaded onto government-owned devices. Nearly half the states have taken similar action against the social media app including Virginia, Georgia and Texas.

In December, the Senate passed a bill that would ban TikTok from all government-owned devices, and that same month the Biden administration pushed for ByteDance to sell its US operations.

Officials from both the FBI and FCC have voiced concerns about the app, too. 

FBI Director Christopher Wray said in November that the app poses a potential threat to national security, according to Bloomberg. That same month, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr told Axios that he supports a total ban on TikTok in the US.

If the US did ban TikTok, it would join India as one of the only countries to have an outright ban. Other countries have restricted or censored the app.

For more, check out why US states are banning TikTok and what to know about TikTok's national security concerns.