Another person familiar with the plans noted that TikTok was paying the cost of sending influencers to DC. It was unclear which influential people would be making the trip.
“Lawmakers in Washington debating TikTok should hear firsthand from the people whose lives would be directly affected by their decisions,” TikTok spokesman Jamal Brown said. “We look forward to welcoming our creators to our nation’s capital, helping them make their voices heard, and continuing to make a meaningful impact in their lives and communities.”
information first informed the invitation to the creators.
The influencer’s push won’t be TikTok’s only attempt to sway government officials in Washington next week. The app’s CEO, Shou Zi Chew, will also testify before the House Committee on Commerce and Energy on Thursday.
ByteDance has amassed an army of public relations and lobbying professionals in recent years to fend off threats to its business, which began with efforts by the Trump administration to effectively ban the app. Although the Biden administration rescinded those executive orders, moves to ban the app have intensified among members of both parties in recent months. The White House recently offered its support for a bipartisan bill that could ban TikTok. The Department of Justice also allegedly investigating ByteDance for spying on US citizensincluding journalists who have reported on the tech industry.
As the administration has pondered the app’s fate in the US, the company hired Biden-connected PR and political consulting firm SKDK. Former SKDK employees holding the ranks of the administration include Anita Dunn, who was a founding partner at the firm and is now a senior adviser to Biden.
TikTok’s political pushback extends well beyond Washington. Just Thursday, the UK banned the app from government phones.
Brendan Bordelon contributed to this report.