SINGAPORE: It wasn’t the first time that TikTok CEO Chew Shou Zi was questioned at the United States Congress, but it certainly was a memorable one. Mr Chew made the news on Feb 1 (Thursday) all over the globe for needing to tell Senator Tom Cotton multiple times, “I’m Singaporean.”

The head of TikTok had to answer questions if he had ties to the Chinese Communist Party and was even asked by the Republican lawmaker, “Do you think anything else happened at Tiananmen Square?”

At a committee hearing on children’s online safety on Tuesday (Jan 31), the Senator asked Mr Chew, “You said today, as you often say, that you live in Singapore. Of what nation are you a citizen?”

See also  Ex-diplomat advises Singaporeans against idolizing TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew

Mr Chew answered that he’s a Singaporean citizen.

“Are you a citizen of any other nation? Have you ever applied for Chinese citizenship?” Mr Cotton asked.

To this, Mr Chew replied, “No,” and began to add that he has even done National Service in Singapore. But before he could finish his sentence, he was asked if he had a Singaporean passport.

Mr Chew answered yes and again tried to talk about his military service in Singapore, which all Singaporean males must serve. However, he was again cut off by the US Senator, who asked him whether he had any other passports.

He also underlined that while Mr Chew’s wife and children are US citizens, before asking if Mr Chew has applied for US citizenship as well.

“No,” Mr Chew said, “Not yet.”

Mr Cotton’s grilling continued.

“Have you ever been a member of the Chinese Communist Party?”

“Senator, I’m Singaporean. No.”

“Have you ever been associated or affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party?”

See also  Bus driver breaks down in tears after windshield cracks, says he can't afford to pay for damage

“No, senator. Again, I’m Singaporean.”

Mr Cotton did not stop there but went on to ask about Mr Chew’s views on the events at Tiananmen Square in July 1990.

Read also: Should Singapore ban TikTok? Reddit users debate

The TikTok CEO was joined by representatives from X, Meta, Snap, and Discord for the hearings on Jan 31. This is not the first time Mr Chew has appeared before US lawmakers, having faced them in March 2023 for questions over concerns of possible Chinese spying due to user data collected on TikTok.

And while Mr Cotton was called out by media outlets for his questioning of Mr Chew, the Senator doubled down on his remarks later that day, saying that the TikTok CEO “has a lot to answer for, for what his app is doing in America and why it’s doing it.” /TISG

Read also: Singaporean-born TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew gets grilled by US Congress