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TikTok CEO Reacts to Law That Could Ban App: “We Aren’t Going Anywhere”

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On Wednesday morning, President Biden signed into law a national security bill that would force TikTok to be sold by its owner, ByteDance, or face a possible ban in the United States.

Minutes later, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew responded with a video posted to the platform, declaring that “rest assured, we aren’t going anywhere.”

“Make no mistake, this is a ban, a ban on TikTok and a ban on you and your voice,” Chew says in the video. “Politicians may say otherwise. But don’t get confused.”

The legislation signed by Biden gives ByteDance nine months to sell TikTok, with a possible three-month extension if a sale is in progress. It would also keep ByteDance from controlling TikTok’s algorithm, which is credited with helping the app rocket in popularity.

In his video, Chew suggests that freedom of speech will be the company’s argument against the ban, saying that the bill becoming law is “a disappointing moment, but it does not need to be a defining one.

“It’s actually ironic because the freedom of expression on TikTok reflects the same American values that make the United States a beacon of freedom,” he continues. “TikTok gives everyday Americans a powerful way to be seen and heard.”

To that end, Chew also seeks to reassure users that the app is not going anywhere anytime soon and to rally its users to weigh in publicly on how important TikTok is to them:

“You will still be able to enjoy TikTok like you always have, in fact, if you have a story about how TikTok impacts your life, we would love for you to share it to showcase exactly what we’re fighting for,” he says.

With the legislation now law, it is only a matter of time before TikTok sues to stop it, and the countdown clock has officially started. As of writing, barring a court-issued delay, ByteDance will have until Jan. 24, 2025, to find a buyer, or risk having the app wiped away from U.S. users.

“We are confident, and we will keep fighting for your rights in the courts,” Chew says in the video. “The facts and the Constitution are on our side and we expect to prevail.”

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