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US House speaker McCarthy: TikTok bill going ahead

STORY: U.S. lawmakers will move ahead with a controversial bill to get TikTok banned in the country.

House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy tweeted the news on Sunday, amid national security concerns about the short video app, which is owned by China-based company ByteDance.

There are growing calls in the United States to ban TikTok, or to pass bipartisan legislation to give President Joe Biden's administration legal authority to seek a ban.

Devices owned by the U.S. government were recently banned from having the app installed.

McCarthy said on Twitter, quote:

“The House will be moving forward with legislation to protect Americans from the technological tentacles of the Chinese Communist Party.”

On Thursday, House Committee lawmakers from both parties grilled TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew for about five hours over concerns involving the app.

Asked if the app has spied on Americans at Beijing's request, Chew said “No”.

But his answer sounded less firm regarding the company's disclosure in December, that some China-based ByteDance employees had improperly accessed TikTok user data of two journalists and were no longer employed by the company.

Chew said, "I don't think that spying is the right way to describe it."

He went on to say reports involved an "internal investigation" before being cut off.

McCarthy also tweeted on Sunday that:

"It's very concerning that the CEO of TikTok can't be honest and admit what we already know to be true — China has access to TikTok user data."

The app has 150 million American users.

TikTok says it has spent more than $1.5 billion on data security efforts and is contracted with U.S. firm Oracle Corp to store TikTok’s U.S. user data.