The first Chinese social media platform with real success in the Western World
TikTok is a Chinese app from tech company ByteDance and, more importantly, the first Chinese social media app that is very successful in the Western world. However, similar to Facebook and Instagram, more and more concerns about the privacy and security risks of the app have been voiced in recent days and weeks.
This is mainly due to the fact that the Chinese government has much more influence on (technology) companies than governments have in Western countries. Where there are independent companies in the Western world that guarantee our privacy, in China, this is also handled by the government. On top of that, rumors are increasing, stating that data collection at TikTok goes much further compared to what Facebook does. It doesn’t need to be said we were all already quite suspicious about Facebook… TikTok not only appears to be collecting data on a much larger scale, it also is rumoured to provide the Chinese government with insight into this. Some parties, such as Hackers Group Anonymous, even claim that TikTok was originally developed as spyware for the Chinese government.
In all of these allegations, ByteDance has stated that they want to withdraw from their Chinese background, in order to maintain and strengthen their position in the Western market. They claim not to share data with the Chinese government, but, honestly, with the new security law in Hong Kong, can we take their word for it?