Marco Rubio Demands TikTok CEO Investigated for Perjury

Marco Rubio Demands TikTok CEO Investigated for Perjury

Grayson Bakich
Grayson Bakich
June 2, 2023

Forbes has found evidence of American TikTok creators' financial information, such as Social Security numbers, stored on Chinese servers despite claims by the app's CEO Shou Chew that China did not have access to such information. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), a long-time advocate for banning TikTok, demanded Attorney General Merrick Garland investigate Chew for perjury.

During the March House Energy and Commerce hearing, Chew claimed American TikTok users' data servers are in Virginia and Singapore.

However, Forbes' investigation suggested otherwise, with evidence suggesting user data storage in China contrary to Chew's statement.

"We now know those statements are false, and that some sensitive data from American users was in fact stored in China, where, by law, that information could be accessed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)," Sen. Rubio wrote.

Additionally, Rubio cited the 2015 incident wherein Chinese-tied hackers compromised the data of millions of US government workers through the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) as evidence of the potential for TikTok user data as weapons.

As such, Chew's claims ring hollow.

"This revelation further underscores the fact that TikTok is a powerful tool of espionage and influence for the CCP and should be banned. Chew should be held accountable for making false statements about material facts related to TikTok’s operation, as he appears to have done in this case," Rubio's letter concluded.

Late in March, Rubio spoke of other Chinese business laws that allowed the government to block a forced sale of TikTok and required ByteDance (the parent company of TikTok) to use its algorithm a certain way if the government said so.

"The reason they can block it is because, through these laws, they control the company that controls the algorithm that drives TikTok. [TikTok] is controlled by ByteDance. Under Chinese law, if the government of China tells ByteDance, the owner of TikTok, to use the algorithm a certain way, they have to do it," said Rubio.

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Grayson Bakich

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

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