TikTok: US lawmakers are probing the world's most addictive app, again

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In the dock

In devastating news for lip-syncers and procrastinators, TikTok looks to be edging closer to a potential ban in the US as a House panel gears up to vote on the motion next month. Shou Zi Chew, the CEO of the Chinese-owned video platform, will testify before Congress in March to defend the app’s alleged CCP affiliation, data security practices, and the impact it's having on American children.

Still on top

To say that TikTok, a shortform video app owned by the Beijing-based tech firm ByteDance, burst onto the social media scene is a serious understatement.

Its addictive algorithm, stylized as its For You page, saw TikTok become the quickest social platform to hit 1 billion active users in history, reaching the milestone in just over 5 years. That’s ~2.6 years quicker than Instagram and ~3.6 quicker than Facebook too.

Since then, it hasn't slowed down. The company has been breaking revenue records in remarkable time, has become teens' social media of choice and was (once again) the most downloaded app of last year according to data from Apptopia.

Despite its rapid rise, TikTok's ties to the CCP have long been touted as a security risk. Successive US governments have made various attempts to regulate the app, with president Trump going the furthest via an executive order in 2020 that sought to sell the US operations of TikTok to an American company. With US-China relations already strained, a ban of China's most famous tech company would be poorly received, although there's a strong precedent in the other direction, with American platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and others all banned in China.

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TikTok: US lawmakers are probing the world's most addictive app, again