Hawley Slams TikTok, Apple For Again Declining to Testify

Big Tech critic Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) has scheduled a hearing for March 4 entitled "Dangerous Partners: Big Tech & Beijing" and said Apple and TikTok have declined to participate. 

Hawley is chair of the Judiciary Committee Subcommittee Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee. 

Related: Hawley Introduces Big Tech Security Bill

He pointed out in announcing the hearing that the pair also declined to participate in a similar November hearing on tech ties to China. At that hearing, Hawley read TikTok and Apple the riot act in absentia after the Chinese-backed social media platform and the social media giant were no-shows. 

“This is a troubling pattern of secrecy from Apple and TikTok,” said Hawley, who added that the invitation was sent out several weeks ago. “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.” 

Hawley says members from law enforcement will be testifying about the risks of tech companies doing business with China. 

The hearing comes as TikTok is under pressure from the other side of the aisle. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called on the TSA to ban use of the app, as the Pentagon and DHS have done. “The TSA is to be recognized for its work to engage a variety of stakeholders with airline rules and safety, but it also must acknowledge the ironic risk it’s placing its own agency—and potentially the public—in with its continued use of the China-owned TikTok app," Schumer said last week. 

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.