TikTok now has 150 million monthly active users in the United States, CEO Shou Chew confirmed on Tuesday, in a clear attempt to highlight the platform’s vast and growing reach in the country amid renewed calls for a ban.
“That’s almost half the US coming to TikTok to connect, to create, to share, to learn, or just to have some fun,” Chew said in a TikTok video on Tuesday. The figure also includes about five million businesses that use TikTok to reach customers, Chew said.
The new disclosure comes just days before Chew is scheduled to appear before a Congressional committee to defend the fate of the app in the United States. A growing number of lawmakers in the United States and abroad have raised national security concerns about the short-form video app because of TikTok’s ties to China through its parent company, ByteDance.
TikTok acknowledged to CNN last week week that federal officials are demanding the app’s Chinese owners sell their stake in the social media platform, or risk facing a US ban of the app. In 2020, when the Trump administration made a similar threat, TikTok said it had 100 million US users.
“Now, this comes at a pivotal moment for us,” Chew said in the video Tuesday. “Some politicians have started talking about banning TikTok, now this could take TikTok away from all 150 million of you.”
“I’ll be testifying before Congress later this week to share all that we’re doing to protect Americans using the app and deliver on our mission to inspire creativity and to bring joy,” Chew added.
The Singaporean chief executive ended his brief video by appealing to users on the app to leave comments on the clip telling lawmakers directly, “What you want your elected representatives to know about what you love about TikTok.”
Chew is scheduled to appear before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Thursday morning to “testify on TikTok’s consumer privacy and data security practices, the platforms’ impact on kids, and its relationship with the Chinese Communist Party,” according to a statement last week from the committee.