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TikTok Could Get Caught in the Crossfire of U.S.-China Tensions

Hi, everyone. I’m Yena Lee, bringing you China Note from Beijing, where social media users and government spokespeople alike have been following the TikTok hearings at the U.S. Congress very closely.

In more than five hours of questioning during a hearing on Capitol Hill last Thursday, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew failed to convince a bipartisan U.S. congressional committee that his app is safe from the Chinese government’s meddling. At the same time, though it wasn’t its stated goal, the bipartisan panel similarly failed to convince many TikTok users in the U.S. of the risks of Beijing’s growing influence. As a result, the hearing put into stark contrast the gap between the app’s fans and critics, against the backdrop of increasingly tensions between the world’s two leading powers over technology and the economic and political influence it generates.

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