The Hustle

Even more than usual, all eyes are on TikTok today

TikTok with U.S. and Chinese flags

TikTok’s fate will perhaps, quite fittingly, be decided by a choreographed dance.

In prepared testimony before Congress today, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew aims to assure US lawmakers the app is safe from Chinese government influence.

Chew — and the 150m+ Americans who use the social video app — will soon learn if those assurances are enough to stop the US government’s continued pursuit of a ban.

Everyone is in a pickle here

Per The Wall Street Journal, the Biden administration has so far stayed firm on its request: Chinese parent ByteDance must sell their TikTok shares or risk banishment.

Negotiations have spanned two administrations. There’s bipartisan unity around fears that ByteDance would cede user data to Chinese authorities.

Both sides are digging in: TikTok has expanded public outreach this week. More members of Congress say they back legislation that would allow Biden to ban the app.

TikTok’s content is fleeting — its repercussions are not

A ban may damage politicians’ standing with TikTok’s younger fanbase, a group that already turns out to vote in small numbers.

The financial ramifications are significant as well. TikTok is central to the $100B creator economy, per Forbes.

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