U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) will hold a hearing next Wednesday as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee, titled “Dangerous Partners: Big Tech & Beijing.” Members of law enforcement have agreed to testify, but TikTok and Apple have once again declined Senator Hawley’s invitation – just as they did in November.
This is a troubling pattern. @tiktok_us and @Apple have now twice declined to testify in public about #China ties. What are they hiding? Don’t they think these questions matter - and deserve answers? https://t.co/0bWCgrxJtT— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) February 24, 2020
“This is a troubling pattern of secrecy from Apple and TikTok,” said Senator Hawley. "Doing business with Beijing poses great security risks, especially when it comes to Americans’ personal data. If these companies have nothing to hide, they need to quit stalling and testify before Congress."
Senator Hawley and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) held a November 5, 2019 subcommittee hearing with security experts but TikTok and Apple declined to testify. In December, TikTok CEO Alex Zhu agreed to meet with Senator Hawley, but then canceled their meeting last-minute. The invite for next week’s hearing was sent several weeks ago, but both companies refused to send a representative.
Members of federal law enforcement have agreed to testify on the security risks of tech companies doing business with China. A full list of hearing details and witnesses will be released in the coming days.