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Here's what would actually happen if TikTok got banned.
Is it ... terrifying?
#SaveTikTok.
TikTokers have been taking to TikTok to express their fears over a potential US ban.
Similar to India where the app was blocked in late June for cybersecurity concerns, they are worried they'll no longer have access to the fun music and video-driven app.
The Trump administration has indicated that it's considering similar action or at least, limiting Americans' access to the popular app.
With respect to Chinese apps on people's cell phones, I can assure you, the United States will get this one right too.
So here's why the US is concerned about TikTok on American phones.
TikTok is China's first global social media sensation.
In just a few years, it has quickly vaulted into the top app download ranks, neck and neck with other popular apps.
But with this kind of popularity has come increased scrutiny from Washington.
TikTok collect(s) everything from the device you're using to access the app, your IP address, the messages exchanged with other users on the TikTok app itself.
And to be very honest, that is not very different from what Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other social apps are collecting.
The difference with TikTok is its ownership.
Its parent company is ByteDance, which is based in Beijing.
TikTok doesn't have a headquarters, although its CEO sits in Los Angeles.
China's legal system allows it to request user data from companies.
What worries foreign governments is the fact that the firewall between user data and the Chinese government is completely removed because of these laws.
And that means American private data might end up in the hands of the Chinese government.
What Beijing could do next with this trove of American data is also a concern.
US officials are concerned that the Chinese government could be building a vast database of information based off whatever they've gotten from TikTok users.
And that pool of information might be potentially used for more nefarious means, such as espionage.
TikTok has said that the Chinese government has never asked the company for user data and would refuse such a request.
The company also said its data on American users is held in servers outside of China, in the US and Singapore.
There are also concerns about freedom of expression.
Among the fun, quirky videos uploaded to TikTok every day, some users say that some videos have been censored.
The Journal found that in the last two years, employees at TikTok followed rules that included striking out content that was in line with censorship norms in China.
For example, showing tattoos or excessive cleavage and politically sensitive topics, including the Hong Kong protests or Tiananmen Square.
Recently, the app has been censoring other types of content too.
We found one US user who said she was banned from her account because she had kissed her girlfriend on the cheek.
And this happened during a live stream on TikTok.
And TikTok basically told her after that her account was banned for serious pornography.
TikTok said that moderation decisions are in an effort to keep the tone on the app lighthearted and not in the name of censorship.
TikTok isn't facing only scrutiny from the US.
TikTok is facing a possible ban in Australia.
The Dutch Data Protection Agency is launching an investigation into TikTok.
While pressure grows, TikTok is taking measures to distance itself from its Chinese roots.
There's now an American CEO at the head of TikTok.
His name is Kevin Mayer and he comes from Disney.
And ByteDance is also considering other changes to its corporate structure.
People familiar with the discussions tell us that ByteDance is thinking of establishing a headquarters for TikTok outside of China.
As the US and China clash over coronavirus, citizens' rights in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, the South China Sea and trade, tech has become a major sticking point.
And after Huawei and ZTE, TikTok has become the latest giant to be threatened by the US government.
And the ones who have watched particularly closely how TikTok handles the politics of the global marketplace will be its fellow Chinese tech companies.
What's really interesting here is that by ByteDance is arguably the most successful Chinese Internet export
And should the app be banned, it doesn't bode well for other Chinese companies who are seeking to go global.
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The Trouble With TikTok on U.S. Phones | WSJ

7096 Folder Collection
Seraya published on July 23, 2020    Seraya translated    adam reviewed
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