The successor to Vine may share the same fate as its predecessor, but for very different reasons.
By late last year, TikTok had entrenched itself in the social media landscape. Despite critics and internet bros doubting its longevity, the short-form video sharing app had won over Gen Z, and the rest soon followed. No other service could provide a fix for memes and dance challenges in such a concentrated dose. However, there is one entity that not even TikTok can get rid of, and that’s the US government.
TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, is a Beijing-based technology company. In the past several years there has been growing concern among countries using Chinese tech, as those companies are subject to providing user information to President Xi Jinping’s government. Most notably, the massive, multi-billion dollar Huawei Technologies Co. is in an ongoing controversy as governments that use Huawei phones and 5G services were found to have “back doors” that could be exploited. The United States has encouraged other countries, some of which are in Latin America, to avoid Chinese tech in exchange for helping build their technological infrastructure.
TikTok is no different. India, the app’s largest market outside of China, has already banned the app as tensions increase following a skirmish along the nations’ border that left 20 Indian soldiers dead. China has long been a favorite target for Trump’s grievances, and it wouldn’t surprise anyone if he took advantage to ban the app on grounds of national security. #RIPTiktok and #tiktokisoverparty have been trending as rumors that the US ban is coming next.
Not even KPop fans will be able to save TikTok if the United States decides to block Chinese social media. Sorry Zoomers, if TikTok leaves you, we’ll pour out a Dalgona coffee in respect.
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