Tiktok videos shown at congressional hearing and the ceo.

U.S. Congressmen Show TikTok CEO Various Memes, Ask For Answers At TikTok Ban Hearing

TikTok might finally be reaching a conclusion to the United States TikTok ban saga that has been brewing for the past few years after its CEO Shou Zi Chew finally went up to testify in front of Congress today.

This, of course, isn't the first time a "Big Tech" CEO has been put on trial, as Mark Zuckerberg's uncanny appearance at his 2018 Congressional testimony led to countless memes that mocked how he delivered his lines and even how he drank his water.

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As Shou Zi Chew's testimony comes to a close, it's time to look back on how exactly the U.S. government decided to put pressure on the Chinese company that has been giving tough competition to domestic social media corporations in the past few years, as well as drawing considerable controversy for a range of issues.

Were the Congressmen able to dredge up any damning evidence to make Zi Chew sweat? Or was it just another Chinese Spy Balloon fiasco? Let's see.

Who Is Shou Zi Chew?

Shou Zi Chew is the CEO of TikTok and has held his position since early 2021 when he replaced former CEO, Kevin Mathers.

Chew has been part of ByteDance, the company that developed TikTok and its predecessor Musical.ly, for years before his current position. But Zi Chew has had an illustrious career way before TikTok as well. He has previously worked at Goldman Sachs, Facebook and the smartphone company Xiaomi Corp.

Why Was TikTok's CEO Shou Zi Chew Testifying Before Congress?

TikTok has been dominating short-form video content for several years now and poses a threat to U.S.-grown tech companies like Meta and Twitter. Moreover, TikTok's data harvesting practices have been considerably controversial over the years, with many noting they pose a worrisome national security threat the U.S. and its citizens.

In late 2022, the Biden administration passed a bill that banned TikTok from all Federal devices. The bill eventually went before the House of Representatives, and the TikTok CEO had to testify in order to defend his company against accusations of data privacy infringement, among other things.

Did Members of Congress Bring Up TikTok Memes In The Hearing?

Various Congresspeople brought up a range of videos as evidence for some of their arguments, which included a few TikTok memes and challenges in the hearing, including a bizarre segment where Florida Congressman Bilirakis brought up a corecore staple known as "Player Tip."

It didn't stop there, as Congresswoman Cammack from Florida stumbled upon a Slow Motion Gun Animation clip that she asserted was a "call for murder" against her colleague. Funnily enough, the meme originates from iFunny, not TikTok, and the user's handle reads "@ifunnyr3t4rduser."

In another section of the hearing, Congressman Carter asked the TikTok CEO whether he knew the exact number of how many kids the app had harmed (referring to controversial trends like the Blackout Challenge), a question Zi Chew found difficult to answer and one that many found odd or dense.

It's unknown at this time what will ultimately be the fate of TikTok in the U.S., but one prominent takeaway from many is that the testimony was yet another example of politicians appearing to be out of their element when it comes to social media and the internet.

For the full history of the United States TikTok Ban and Shou Zi Chew, be sure to check out our entry on the ban here and the TikTok CEO here for even more information.

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