TikTok CEO Testifies Before Congress
March 28, 2023
Shou Zi Chew, a 40-year-old Singaporean, is the CEO of TikTok. He is testifying today in front of a US congressional committee to undergo hours-long questioning by Republicans and Democrats, who fear Beijing is subverting the app to spy on or do propaganda, threatening national stability. But who is Shou Zi Chew and how did he become the CEO of the social network of the moment?
Shou Zi Chew joined the team at TikTok parent ByteDance in early 2021 as its CFO. Since May of that same year he has been placed at the head of the social network, as executive director. Chew, a native of Singapore, reached this position after 8 months after his former CEO, Kevin Mayer, retired due to conflicts with the US regime. Which accused him of espionage and for that reason sought to ban the application.
Originally from Singapore, he is married with 2 children. Contrary to the social network that he represents, which video clips can go viral in just a few minutes, Chew has a more discreet profile. In various interviews, he said that he does not allow his children to use TikTok as they are quite young.
Where did you work prior to being the CEO of Tiktok?
Chew served as an officer in the Singapore Army for the duration of his forced military service. He then earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from University College London and a master’s degree in organizational management from Harvard Business School. He worked for Goldman Sachs in London and interned at Facebook before returning to Asia.
In 2010, he joined the investment firm Internet DST, owned by billionaire Yuri Milner, where he participated in the shares of this firm with large Chinese technology companies such as JD.com or DiDi. It should be noted that his interaction with ByteDance is not fortuitous, since in 2013 he instigated a team that has become one of the first investors that I trust in the technology company.
His next step in the ecosystem was to become chief financial officer and global sales manager of Xiaomi. Where he helped bring the smartphone maker’s products to the universal market. Similarly, in 2018 in China he made one of the biggest listings in the tech world by taking Xiaomi to the stock exchange in Hong Kong.
His challenge against the app ban
The U.S. Congress on Thursday began a hearing with TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew. Discussing Washington’s concerns about the company and possible ties to the Chinese regime. With fears that it could damage national stability.
“TikTok has repeatedly chosen the path of more control, more surveillance and more manipulation. Its platform must be banned”
said Cathy McMorris Rodgers, chair of the House Committee on Business and Energy, at the start of the hearing.
Chew argues, for his part, that TikTok has the same drawbacks and challenges as the rest of the social networks. Background to his statement, he published on TikTok a call to the 150 million users of the platform not to allow them to close it.
“This comes at a decisive time for ourselves. This could take TikTok away from all 150 million of you”
Chew commented Monday as he prepared to testify in front of the House Business and Energy board. Chew told the media that TikTok does not threaten US interests. He highlighted in the video clip that it is a showcase for creators and that 5 million American businesses use TikTok.