U.S. Senator’s “Outrageous” Racism Towards TikTok’s Singaporean CEO Goes Viral, Netizens React

U.S. Senator’s “Outrageous” Racism Towards TikTok’s Singaporean CEO Goes Viral, Netizens React

U.S. Senator’s “Outrageous” Racism Towards TikTok’s Singaporean CEO Goes Viral, Netizens React

The tone of these questions varied greatly from those directed at the other CEOs.

Many know TikTok as a fun app where you can waste time viewing videos on all sorts of content. TikTok is a counterpart to the Chinese platform Douyin and was first launched in September 2017.

| TikTok

Since its creation, TikTok has been the source of national security concerns from various agencies due to fears of user data being collected by the Chinese government, spreading misinformation, and mental health concerns.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump attempted to force TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, to sell the app multiple times. However, investigations found no evidence of the app obtaining user information in 2020.

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Fears behind the app have often been based on anti-Asian racism, as many domestic apps have been found to buy and sell user data and contain similar content to that found on TikTok.

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On January 31, the U.S. Senate questioned CEOs from TikTok, X (formerly Twitter), Meta (formerly Facebook), and other popular social media about child safety on the platforms.

Clips from the session show Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, and X CEO Linda Yaccarino speaking on the subject and even addressing parents in the room.

However, during the session portion where TikTok’s CEO Shou Zi Chew fielded questions, the topic strayed from child safety back to previous security-related questions.

U.S. Senator Tom Cotton spends several minutes questioning Shou Zi Chew about his origins and relations to China, despite the CEO saying he is Singaporean multiple times.

Cotton: Have you ever been a member of the Chinese Communist Party?
Chew: Senator, I’m Singaporean. No.
Cotton: Have you ever been associated or affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party?
Chew: No, senator. Again, I’m Singaporean.

A clip of this moment was shared on X, gaining over 3.4 million views in just a few hours.

Netizens commented on the outright racism found in Senator Cotton’s line of questioning, wondering why the important topic of child safety was not at the forefront.