TikTok and WeChat: Chinese Apps Dogged by Security Fears

China Accuses US of

The United States has fired a brand new salvo in its rivalry with China, ordering sweeping restrictions in opposition to Chinese-owned social media stars TikTok and WeChat.

Here are some key information concerning the platforms:

What is WeChat?

WeChat, often called “weixin” or micro-message in Chinese, belongs to tech large Tencent and has grown to turn into ubiquitous in day by day life throughout China since its 2011 launch.

It has greater than a billion month-to-month customers and is a “super app” used for all the things from messaging to ride-hailing and cell funds, whereas additionally serving as a social media platform.

Tencent surpassed Facebook’s web value after it turned the primary Asian agency to be valued at greater than $500 billion (roughly Rs. 37.48 crores) in 2017.

The Hong Kong-listed firm now has a market capitalisation of HKD 5.32 trillion (roughly Rs. 51.47 lakh crores), in contrast with Facebook’s $756 billion (roughly Rs. 56.65 crores).

While WeChat is obtainable in varied languages, its primary consumer base is in mainland China, the place potential rivals similar to Facebook’s WhatsApp messaging service are barred from competing.

It can be a extensively used among the many Chinese, and foreigners doing enterprise within the nation, to communicate with individuals there.

Tencent has shares in many American companies, together with electric-car maker Tesla, social media firm Snap, and prime video games builders similar to Riot Games, [Epic Games](https://gadgets.ndtv and Activision Blizzard.

Surveillance on WeChat

WeChat has been dogged by privateness issues.

The platform censors content material for all customers registered with Chinese telephone numbers, even when they go overseas or change to a world quantity, in line with a University of Toronto research from 2016.

Another report from the identical college in May stated accounts not registered in China had been additionally topic to “pervasive content surveillance”.

Chinese authorities routinely censor on-line content material and block Western web sites similar to Facebook, Twitter, and the New York Times.

WeChat’s privateness coverage says the platform solely shares consumer data “where necessary” with governments and regulation enforcement businesses.

What is TikTok?

TikTok options kaleidoscopic feeds of brief user-made movies of something from hair-dye tutorials to choreographed dance routines.

It belongs to Chinese tech agency ByteDance and targets the worldwide market whereas Douyin, a home model of the platform, caters completely to Chinese customers.

TikTok has been downloaded greater than 2 billion instances since its 2017 launch, in line with knowledge from US-based analysis company SensorTower.

The app is hottest amongst youngsters however has discovered contemporary reputation throughout coronavirus lockdowns around the globe as adults search for new methods to go the time.

It attracted big followings within the United States, Indonesia and different nations, but it surely just lately turned one in all 59 Chinese cell apps banned by India over nationwide safety and privateness issues.

Distancing from China

TikTok has in latest months sought to distance itself from its Chinese house owners. It appointed former Disney govt Kevin Mayer, an American, as its new chief govt in May.

It additionally withdrew from Hong Kong shortly after China imposed a brand new safety regulation on the town that gave police contemporary powers to censor the web — a transfer that analysts stated was an effort to keep away from the suggestion it was a Chinese-controlled firm.

But the app has nonetheless been accused of privateness breaches.

Trump beforehand set a deadline of mid-September for TikTok to be acquired by a US agency or be banned within the US.

Microsoft has expanded its talks on TikTok to a potential deal that would come with shopping for the worldwide operations of the fast-growing app, the Financial Times reported Thursday.

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