TikTok has no chill: Users are defending CEO Shou Zi Chew over his congressional appearance so vehemently that some have started lusting for him
TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew testified in a congressional hearing on Thursday over growing data security concerns.
Users vehemently defended Chew and mocked Congress's seemingly uninformed line of questioning.
TikTok is now bloated with thirsty fan tributes and cutesy montages of the CEO that some are calling "TikTok Zaddy."
TikTokers are obsessed with the platform's CEO after he battled Congress during Thursday's hearing on whether to ban the app in the US amid security concerns. Users thought Shou Zi Chew faced undue pressure — and handled it so well — that they're now sharing cutesy tributes and other "thirst-trap" videos of him.
TikTokers truly have no chill.
One of the most shared clips, with over 1.3 million views, features several superimposed images of Chew from the hearing set to the popular song "OMG" from K-pop group NewJeans. "Yall fr simping for the CEO of TikTok," a top comment read.
come through for us shou oppa
♬ OMG - NewJeans
Another video, with nearly a million views, spotlights Chew refuting a question about whether TikTok would consider divesting from its owner, the Chinese company ByteDance (Chew said ownership isn't the issue, gesturing at how American tech companies don't have a clean history of data security either.)
The creator @whileimtoska edited Chew's response with a dramatic montage, captioning it, "He ate them up with that."
@whileimtoska he ate them up with that……… #tiktokceo #shouzichew #tiktokban ♬ original sound - WhileImToska
"When the CEO of TikTok gets a TikTok edit," a top commenter wrote. "GUYS HE'S A MARRIED MAN," a user joked.
Like these edits, many videos paint Chew as a heroic figure who's defending the app's creators and community from out-of-touch "boomers" who could potentially ban the app. The hearing is a culmination of growing security concerns — that date back to as early as 2020 when the Trump administration attempted a ban — over fears that the Beijing-based company could provide the Chinese Community Party with US user data to compel its own political interests.
Not only are TikTok users seemingly unbothered by cybersecurity worries, they're showing unwavering support for the app's leadership. The "thirst" edits began proliferating shortly after the hearing ended and they've quickly gone viral.
"This is the second edit of CEO i've seen in the last 5 min," one user wrote on Thursday evening. "I pray there's more."
A majority of videos are straightforward thirst traps: images of Chew looking fierce while creators and commenters talk about how "fine" and "handsome" he looks. Many people joked about Mark Zuckerberg "quaking" because they think Chew is the better-looking tech CEO.
@jesicaelise this app is single-handedly keeping the global economy from tanking so help me understand the problem. #capcut #tiktokcongressionalhearing #tiktokceo❤️ ♬ original sound - Jesica
"TikTok Zaddy fighting for us," one person wrote with a heart-eye emoji; "I see why Mark is so pressed," someone else added.
Chew fanfare is so widespread that users have even started using the slideshow feature, which is rarely ever used for fan edits. A slideshow with almost a million views calls Chew's appearance at the hearing the biggest "I'm him" performance ever (which a reference to the "he's him" meme used to describe a man who does something epic).
Comment sections are also, of course, abound with quips related to the CEO's last name: "HE CHEW, ATE, AND LEFT NO CRUMBS."
"He chewed and spat them out."
"He didn't just eat… he chewed as well."
Though a vast majority of the comments on these videos are positive, and in on the joke, some people are calling the practice into question: "Why are we editing a tech CEO like this!?" someone wrote on a viral video.
Insider has reached out to TikTok and Chew for comment.
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