May 30, 2024

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The other Chinese applications overtook the US and Britain

The most widely used free app in the US, TikTok, has recently made headlines for reasons unrelated to its content, including purported ties to the Chinese Communist Party.

CEO Shou Zi Chew testified before US lawmakers at Congress and was confronted with aggressive questioning concerning the app’s Chinese parent firm, ByteDance, and the extent to which China has access to its users’ data.

But the platform is not the first Chinese-owned mobile application to succeed in Western markets. Three more of the top 10 free mobile apps in the US, according to analytics company Apptopia, are reportedly owned by Chinese companies. Two of them rank among the top downloads in the UK as well.

Chinese apps’ success in the US is partially a result of the severe rivalry in their home market, where US apps are not allowed, according to analysts.

Zeyi Yang, a reporter and researcher for the MIT Review who specialises in Chinese technology, stated that Chinese tech businesses have had such a fierce period of domestic rivalry that it has made them as good as or better, in some aspects, than American apps.

The recommendation algorithms employed by TikTok and the instant messaging app WeChat are examples of how these Chinese companies have been pioneers in creating algorithms that are highly specialised to satisfy user needs.

TikTok is the first Chinese-owned app to experience significant popularity on the international market, but US lawmakers and national security experts have issued a warning that Chinese-owned apps may be vulnerable to information privacy violations and CCP censorship.

The European Commission, the UK, and Canada have all prohibited TikTok from being downloaded on government employees’ phones due to the same worry.

Mr. Scherer asserted that there are no such routes in China as there have been for US-based tech companies like Apple to thwart government requests for their users’ data.

Shou Zi Chew, the head of TikTok, tried to assuage lawmakers’ security worries by saying there is a “firewall” to shield Americans.

According to Mr. Scherer, regardless of the country that owns an app, it may be subject to data breaches until US politicians implement adequate data privacy regulations. He warned against making the automatic assumption that anything Chinese is evil.

“I believe users should approach all apps with caution.” Individuals give out a lot of personal information via their phones without completely understanding what they’re doing, what data the company is retrieving, or how it will be used.