(Doha) TikTok CEO said he was “confident” on Tuesday, after the Chinese company launched a lawsuit in the United States to overturn the ban on the ultra-popular youth app. U.S. state of Montana.

A subsidiary of the Chinese group ByteDance, TikTok filed a lawsuit on Monday against Montana, which last week enacted a law to ban the application from January 2024.

“The case is before the courts and we are confident that we will win the case,” TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew said at an economic forum in Qatar.

“The Montana bill that was recently passed is simply unconstitutional,” he added.

TikTok has been in the crosshairs of US authorities for several months, with many officials believing that the short and entertaining video platform allows Beijing to spy on and manipulate its 150 million users in the United States.

The company has always denied these accusations.

The text adopted in mid-April by the Parliament of Montana, in the western United States, requires Apple and Google to no longer offer TikTok in their mobile application stores from January 1, 2024, under penalty of a fine of $10,000 per day per violation.

The ban “violates the United States Constitution in multiple ways,” including the First Amendment that guarantees “freedom of speech,” the company argued in its lawsuit filed Monday.

Last Wednesday, five TikTok users also filed an appeal in federal court in Montana seeking the invalidation of the law, hours after it was signed into law by state governor Greg Gianforte.

These users “care about TikTok” because the app “is very important to them,” Shou Zi Chew said in Doha, saying that data storage on US soil is handled by an American company.

According to him, the measures taken by the platform “go beyond what the industry is doing to protect American users”.

In addition to the issue of data and misinformation, US officials blame TikTok for harmful effects on the health of younger people, such as addiction or depression.

In March, his boss was questioned at length by American elected officials about his alleged links with the Chinese authorities and the dangers of TikTok for teenagers.

Shou Zi Chew on Tuesday said he was “very grateful” for the opportunity given to him to present his side of the story. “In five hours, I think I had time to do it,” he said.

Joe Biden’s administration is discussing several bills with Congress to ban the app, amid great rivalry between the United States and China.

TikTok is already banned on the phones of employees of many federal agencies, but also of the European Commission. India completely banned the service in 2020.

In April, Australia joined the list of countries banning the use of the app on government devices, while the British data regulator imposed a fine of 12.7 million pounds sterling (15 $.9 million) for allowing 1.4 million children under the age of 13 to use the platform, in violation of its own rules.

Shou Zi Chew pointed out, however, that TikTok can also have a “positive impact”, citing the example of an autistic user who “found his voice through the music” shared on the app.

“It gives me confidence that we can have very thoughtful conversations with regulators around the world,” he said. “I’m confident we’re here to stay.”