Last Thursday (March 23), at a hearing in the U.S. Congress about the potential risks of the short video social media platform TikTok to the U.S. national security, the company’s CEO Zhou Shouzi (Shou Zi Chew) was interviewed by U.S. congressmen in turn. He was questioned severely, but he suddenly became a “hero” in China overnight, a hero who bravely resisted the “bullying” of the United States.
TikTok, the international version of Douyin, owned by Beijing-based Chinese company ByteDance, is also a short-video app popular with users around the world, especially teenage users. But many members of the U.S. Congress and national security hawks fear the app also has the ability to censor short video content, influence users and pass on user information to Chinese government agents.
ByteDance denies all of the above allegations. TikTok CEO Zhou Shouzi tried his best to address security concerns in the U.S. Congress when he testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee last Thursday, but with little success. Members of both parties in Congress strongly questioned TikTok’s relationship with the Chinese government and believed that TikTok poses a potential threat to US national security. Congress is pushing to complete the “Restriction of Information and Communication Technology Security Threats Act” (referred to as the “Restriction Act”) legislation and seeks to implement a comprehensive ban on TikTok.
However, although Zhou Shouzi failed to testify at the U.S. Congressional hearing, he was called a “lonely hero” and a “brave gentleman” by netizens on China’s Weibo. “Aggression” and “bullying” by MPs.
“The TikTok hearing showed that as long as they have a social media platform CEO as a punching bag, the two parties in the United States can find consensus,” the Washington Post quoted a viral post on Weibo as saying.
Zhou Shouzi was tortured for five hours at a hearing in the U.S. Congress, making him suddenly a “weak man” who is widely praised and sympathetic in China, but this may not change the fate of TikTok that may be completely blocked in the United States.
According to a new poll conducted by The Washington Post, about 41% of respondents support the federal government’s ban on TikTok, while only 25% of respondents oppose this move.
The survey found that the ratio of supporters to opponents fluctuated wildly with the age of the respondents. Only 17 percent of respondents who are currently using TikTok support a government ban, while 54 percent oppose it. Among the respondents who have not yet used TikTok, the proportion of support and opposition is just the opposite. 54% of people support the ban, while only 12% oppose the ban.
The Washington Post survey found that 59% of respondents aged 18 to 34 use TikTok. The older the population, the fewer people use TikTok. Only 15% of respondents 65 and older are using TikTok.
The Washington Post survey also found that respondents who supported the federal government’s ban on TikTok said they made the decision because of the app’s ability to spread disinformation and its potential to negatively impact teens’ mental health.
Tubefilter, an American media that mainly reports on the online entertainment video industry, reported that Zhou Shouzi’s hearing in the US Congress may not have convinced many members of Congress and is unlikely to change the minds of respondents surveyed by the Washington Post. , but even in Western countries, there is no shortage of people who are sympathetic to Zhou Shouzi.
There have been quite a few posts on Twitter criticizing the rude attitude of US congressmen towards Zhou Shouzi who was invited to testify at the hearing and the very casual identification of Zhou Shouzi as Chinese. Zhou Shouzi was actually born and raised in Singapore.
Tubefilter believes that Zhou Shouzi’s performance in the U.S. congressional hearing not only won the applause of Chinese netizens but also likely won sympathy and support in the court of public opinion. Although the “Limit Act” may still be passed in the US Congress, it is still difficult to say whether American public support for the bill will decline before the bill becomes law.