TikTok has become very popular among the youth due to its viral dance and comedy acting.
But because of its ties to China, the conflict between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump has escalated into a new company.
The United States and Australia have said the app could be banned, while India has banned it.
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What is TikTok?
TikTok is a free service app like YouTube.
Users can capture up to a minute long video using a feature selected from a large repository of songs and special effects filters.
Users can also act in movie dialogues and humorous sayings.
Once a user has 1,000 followers, they can also broadcast live video.
Users can also accept digital gifts and exchange them for money.
Apps can watch popular videos based on friend videos and videos you’ve watched before.
There is also a facility to exchange messages between users.
How big is tick-tock?
Tick Tock has been on the list of the most downloaded apps since the beginning of 2019.
Due to the calamity of the epidemic, the attraction of its people has increased exponentially.
The app has now been downloaded an estimated two billion times and has 800 million active users.
The app was most downloaded in India, but due to restrictions, China and the United States are now its largest markets.
What does this have to do with China?
Tiktok started with three apps.
The first American app launched in 2014 is Musically. In 2016, Chinese technology company Bitdance launched a similar local app in China.
Bitdance spread it all over the world under the name of Tiktak.
In 2018, ByteDance bought Musically and merged it with Tiktak.
Bitdance has tried to keep its app away from Chinese ownership.
For this, the company has appointed Kevin Meyer, a former Disney executive, as chief executive of Ticktok.
How much data does Tiktok collect?
Tiktok collects a lot of user data. Here are some of them:
Which video was watched and which was responded to
Phone type and its operating system
How the user presses the keyboard while typing something.
Some of its data collection has raised concerns. One of them is copy-pasted content.
But similar data is collected by Reddit, LinkedIn, the New York Times and the BBC News app.
Tiktak collects a lot of data like Facebook. The app is being studied by a UK privacy agency.
Can Tiktak spy?
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has accused the Chinese Communist Party of leaking the data collected by Tiktak.
Tiktak has repeatedly stated that the data will be collected and stored outside China.
“It is completely untrue that we are at the fingertips of the Chinese government,” Bertram, Tiktak’s head of public policy for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, told the BBC.
But the point of the TikTok is that the Chinese government could use local laws to force BitDance to provide data on foreign users.
China’s National Security Law of 2017 stipulates that any organization or individual must assist and cooperate in state espionage.
Bretram said he would not give in to the Chinese government’s demands.
But BitDance may have to think about the possible effects of dissatisfaction with the Chinese government.
ByteDance’s most popular news app, Totiao, was removed for 24 hours in 2017 after China’s Internet Information Office said it was spreading pornographic material.
Can Tiktok spread Chinese propaganda?
Another concern is censorship.
China is the world’s most controlled Internet site, and the infamous Great Firewall blocks many content for Chinese citizens.
Last year, the Guardian magazine reported that Tiktak’s staff and technology were censoring politically sensitive issues.
Protests in Tiananmen Square and demands for an independent Tibet have been banned.
According to the Washington Post, based on conversations with six former Tiktak employees, the final decision on whether to ban employees in China will be made.
ByteDance has stated that the guidelines have not been implemented yet.