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US senator grilling TikTok’s S’porean CEO about China links mocked on talk show: ‘A little race-ish’

US senator grilling TikTok’s S’porean CEO about China links mocked on talk show: ‘A little race-ish’
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Some Singaporeans have called the line of questioning racist.
A US senator grilling TikTok’s Singaporean chief executive Chew Shou Zi about his Chinese links was mocked as being “a little race-ish” by US talk show host Stephen Colbert on Feb 2.
Mr Chew was testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington, DC, on Jan 31 along with leaders of other social media companies Meta, X, Snap and Discord.

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@straitstimes Majulah Singapura @Shou TikTok CEO Chew Shou Zi faced a barrage of questions on his citizenship and TikTok’s Chinese ownership during a US Congressional hearing. #SGNews #USSenate #TikTok #ChewShouZi #TomCotton #tiktokban #tiktokhearing #socialmedia #tiktoknews ♬ son original – Reverse.Soundeffects

At one point during the “Big Tech and the Online Child Sexual Exploitation Crisis” hearing, Senator Tom Cotton asked Mr Chew: “Of what nation are you a citizen?”
Mr Chew replied: “Singapore.”
The senator also asked: “Have you ever applied for Chinese citizenship?”
The TikTok CEO said: “Senator, I served my nation in Singapore. No, I did not.”
Mr Cotton then asked: “Have you ever been a member of the Chinese Communist Party?”
Mr Chew appeared amused by the question and replied: “Senator, I’m Singaporean. No.”
The senator then asked: “Have you ever been associated or affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party?”
Mr Chew repeated: “No, senator. Again, I’m Singaporean.”
On the Feb 2 telecast of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, an edited clip of the exchange was played during the talk show’s opening monologue by Colbert the host.
Mimicking the senator’s serious tone, Colbert joked: “Okay, okay, okay, fine, okay, fine, but have you ever played Chinese checkers?”
The studio audience laughed.
Colbert continued: “I see, have you ever rested a cup of chai on your knees? Do you have ‘chai knees’?”
Still playing the senator, Colbert said: “All right, fine, fine, just one more question, sir: Chinese guy says what?”
Then pounding a fist on the palm of his hand, the host demanded in mock seriousness: “At long last, sir, have you been to Panda Express?”
Panda Express is the name of a US restaurant chain specialising in American-Chinese food.

Mr Chew, 41, was appointed CEO of TikTok in 2021. Prior to joining TikTok, Chew worked for five years at Xiaomi. Before that, he was a partner at the venture capital firm DST Global and earlier worked at Goldman Sachs.
Last year, he had appeared in front of a US House of Representatives panel scrutinising whether TikTok’s Chinese ownership made it a national security threat.





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