By Tunji Uyghur
During a House committee hearing on Thursday, the CEO of TikTok, Shou Chew, evaded answering questions concerning China's persecution of the Uyghurs and the potential invasion of Taiwan, without giving a clear response.
Rep. Debbie Lesko (R, AZ-8) threw the Uyghur question three times at Chew. First, she asked: “Do you agree that the Chinese government has persecuted the Uyghur population?”
“Congresswoman, if you use our app and you open it, you will find our users, who give all sorts of content on—” Chew replied before being cut off by the Arizona representative.
Lesko restated her question to the TikTok executive, but for the second time, the executive did not provide a direct response.
“Well, it’s deeply concerning to hear about all accounts of human rights abuse, my role here is to explain what our platform does—,” said Chew,
“I think you’re being pretty evasive. It’s a pretty easy question,” Lesko told Chew. “Do you agree that the Chinese government has persecuted the Uyghur population?”
“Congresswoman, I’m here to describe TikTok and what we do as a platform,” Chew answered. “And as a platform, we allow our users to freely express themselves on this issue and any other issue that matters to them.”
Lesko moved on while noting, “Well, you didn’t answer the question.”