Apple and TikTok each have declined a request to testify at a March congressional hearing that would have probed their relationships with China, a move that threatens to ratchet up tensions with federal lawmakers who see Beijing as a privacy and security threat.
Republican Sen. Josh Hawley (Mo.), one of TikTok’s leading critics, had invited the two tech firms to appear at a March 4 session, his office confirmed Monday. Both previously had declined to testify at a hearing last year on the same issue.
[…] Apple did not respond to a request for comment about its expected absence.
In sitting out the hearing, Apple and TikTok still risk a verbal lashing on Capitol Hill, where Hawley, the chairman of a key Senate subcommittee, has previously upbraided both firms for failing to answer questions about their Chinese ties.
Not a good look for Apple. There’s a time for charming corporate secrecy and then there’s a time for blunt honesty. Your relationship with China? That’s always the latter, unless you have something to hide. Looks bad, Tim.