Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Is TikTok Chinese?

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Is TikTok Chinese?

Is TikTok Chinese?

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TikTok has become one of the most widely used apps in the world in recent times but that success has put it in the crosshairs of the US government. The streaming app remains a hot topic in the news after the U.S. passed a bill that could ban the app if its Chinese owners don’t sell.
However, the app’s CEO frequently asks whether people should regard TikTok as Chinese. The answer could be no, here’s why.

The Move to Ban TikTok

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In mid-March, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that may ban the video app TikTok nationwide unless its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, sells the platform.
Reports claim the House vote was 352 to 65, with only 15 Republicans voting against the bill.

Why Ban TikTok?

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In recent years, there have been arguments that the social media platform poses a severe national security risk. 
Those supporting the bill claim the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) could force TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, to hand over all the data it has on its American users.

Five Months to Sell

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If the ban succeeds, Americans will no longer be allowed to download TikTok from any U.S. app store.
The bill has given the Beijing-based company ByteDance five months to sell the Chinese app to Western investors, according to CNN. However, as TikTok’s CEO, Shou Chew, has expressed on several occasions, should the app really be considered Chinese?

Is TikTok Chinese?

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TikTok is considered a Chinese app, but surprisingly, it has never been available in Chinese app stores except for a short stint in Hong Kong. Instead, the nation has its own equivalent, known as Douyin. 
Many don’t know it, but the app was actually incorporated in California back in 2015, according to CNN.

Questions Regarding Chinese Ownership

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In 2023, U.S. lawmakers questioned CEO Chew about whether the app was Chinese.
He was able to dance around the question, avoiding a direct answer. However, he pointed out that TikTok’s headquarters are located in Singapore and Los Angeles.

Beijing-Based ByteDance Qwns TikTok

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Chew has done his best to give the impression that the app isn’t really Chinese. Instead, he has been trying to preach that a Beijing-based tech giant owns it. A sift through several layers of corporations confirms that ByteDance does own TikTok. It is a company incorporated in the Cayman Islands and based in Beijing, China.

Is TikTok’s Parent Company Chinese?

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Yes. There’s little question about whether TikTok’s parent company is Chinese. 
The company was founded back in 2012 by two Chinese nationals, Zhang Yiming and Llang Rubo, in Beijing.

ByteDance Is Based in the Chinese Capital City

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Since it was founded over a decade ago, ByteDance has been predominantly based in the Chinese capital.
While TikTok CEO Chew argues that the company ByteDance isn’t owned by the Chinese Communist Party, according to CNN, it is legally required to “establish an in-house Communist Party committee composed of employees who are party members.”

ByteDance and the CCP

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Since it is based in China, ByteDance must follow the new intelligence laws implemented by the CCP in 2018. 
These laws force organizations to cooperate and assist with national intelligence, meaning that ByteDance must legally gather intelligence for the Chinese government.

Beijing May Attempt to Ban TikTok Sale

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According to CNN’s report, Beijing can legally prevent the sale of TikTok. Back in 2023, a Commerce Ministry spokeswoman alluded to the idea that China would strongly oppose the sale of the app.
According to Shu Yuting, selling TikTok would involve “exporting technology,” which would require approval from the Chinese government.

Will the Forced Sale Stand?

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Given the current situation, it’s hard to predict whether TikTok will proceed with a forced sale or not. 
However, it appears the Chinese government will do everything it can to prevent the sale of the popular video-sharing app. This will ultimately force Americans to opt for an alternative.

How Will That Affect Users? 

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A ban on TikTok will affect many in the US, especially those who have taken to using the app to make money. Eventually, alternatives will pop up, but those affected will have to start building their followership from scratch.