TikTok, Vine's successor in short-video social media has recently been a center of attention and controversy lately.
The app was recently banned in India alongside 58 other apps, arguably due to political tension. Reports tell that India was home to the largest user base of the app after China itself.
After the publicization of new national security law, Hong Kong has been subject to an unprecedented control attempt. A TikTok spokesperson said, "In light of recent events, we’ve decided to stop operations of the TikTok app in Hong Kong." and refused to make further comments on the topic.
As is known, ByteDance is operating under a name different than TikTok under Chinese soil (the name of the app is Douyin), now people are wondering if a similar thing will be the case for Hong Kong (Douyin already operates in Hong Kong and has a bigger user base than TikTok).
In March, TikTok announced that it'll be opening a transparency center for experts to come and evaluate how the app operates impartially.
While some other tech giants such as Google, Twitter, and Facebook outright denied data review requests from Hong Kong officials, TikTok chose a different path. Some view this action as a sheer rejection against censorship while some believe it's a way to buy time and evaluate other options.
The US hints at a possible action as well
On a Fox News program, Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State, reportedly said that The US is "looking into" restricting US users from accessing TikTok.
On the TV program, Pompeo said, "With respect to Chinese apps on people's cell phones, I can assure you the United States will get this one right too," while also warning Americans to be wary against the app for fear that their personal information may be leaked.
It is unclear what the future holds for ByteDance for now, but a developer quickly stepped in and created an alternative already. Tik Tok is quickly gaining popularity on the subcontinent.