BEIJING – A few days ago, TikTok’s Singaporean chief executive Chew Shou Zi made a plea on the wildly popular video-sharing app after the US Congress passed legislation compelling the Chinese-owned company to sell its stakes.

Addressing its American users directly, a grim-faced Mr Chew said that the Bill, swiftly signed into law by President Joe Biden on April 24, “will take TikTok away from you and 170 million Americans who find community and connection on our platform”. Describing it dramatically as “a ban on you and your voice”, he vowed to battle it out with the US authorities in court.