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

Shou Zi Chew shared a video on the platform addressing the bill signed by President Biden on Wednesday.

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Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times

President Biden has just signed into law a national security bill today that demands ByteDance, the company, behind TikTok to offload the video sharing platform or face a potential prohibition in the United States.

Following this TikTok’s CEO, Shou Zi Chew reassured users in a video on the app that they have no plans to depart. “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.”

Under the legislation signed by President Biden ByteDance has nine months to sell TikTok with a three month extension if a sale is in progress. The law would prevent ByteDance from controlling TikTok’s algorithm, which many believe played a role in the apps popularity surge.

In his video message Chew asserts that their main defense against the ban will be freedom of speech. “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.”

Chew reassures users that TikTok will remain accessible, for a time and encourages them to express the importance of the platform.

“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.”