TikTok CEO says company is at a 'pivotal moment'

STORY: As U.S. lawmakers consider a potential ban on the explosively-popular TikTok, the CEO of the video-sharing app appealed directly to users to make their voices heard.

"Now this comes at a pivotal moment for us. Some politicians have started talking about banning TikTok. Now this could take TikTok away from all 150 million of you."

CEO Shou Zi Chew will testify on Thursday before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Ahead of that session he posted a video on the app this week with the Capitol in the background, claiming that TikTok had more than 150 million active users in the U.S., representing nearly have the country's population.

"That's almost half of the U.S., coming to TikTok, to connect, to create, to share, to learn, or just to have some fun."

TikTok's critics fear that the app, owned by Chinese tech company ByteDance, could share its U.S. user data with the government in Beijing.

TikTok rejects the spying allegations, and according to written testimony shared this week by the House Committee, Shou will tell lawmakers, "TikTok has never shared, or received a request to share, U.S. user data with the Chinese government. Nor would TikTok honor such a request if one were ever made,"

Shou's testimony before Congress comes in the face of growing calls for the short video app to be banned across America, and will serve as one of the Chinese company's most-detailed rebuttals to the accusations against it.

Last week, TikTok said the Biden administration demanded that its Chinese owners divest their stake in the app or it could face a U.S. ban.

A growing number of U.S. lawmakers support a ban on TikTok, including Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who will face Shou on Thursday.