After former President Donald J. Trump attempted to ban TikTok, a popular video streaming social network, the Chinese-owned company has overtaken Google-owned YouTube in popularity in the United States.
“App users in the UK and US are spending more time on TikTok than on YouTube, a new report suggests,” BBC reported. “Data from app monitoring firm App Annie indicates that average time per user spent on the apps is higher for TikTok, indicating high levels of engagement.”
For now, YouTube still remains ahead of its up-and-coming opponent in time spent on the website overall, but not per user. YouTube still has many more users than TikTok.
In August of 2020, Trump signed an executive order banning the use of the app in the United States. He banned the app over concerns that the Chinese-based company was undermining American national security by collecting massive amounts of data on its American users.
“This data collection threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information — potentially allowing China to track the locations of Federal employees and contractors, build dossiers of personal information for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage,” the executive order said.
In June, President Joe Biden rescinded Trump’s executive order, which never went into effect.
Still, concerns about the massively popular application’s data collection remain.
Biden ordered the U.S. Department of Commerce to review any software that is “designed, developed, manufactured, or supplied by…a foreign adversary,'” according to a report in Quartz.
Though TikTok is not explicitly named as a target for investigation, it fits the criteria for companies that will be investigated.
“There’s a concern about Chinese firms’ access to US citizens’ data and those firms could be pressured by the Chinese government to turn it over for espionage or other purposes,” Adam Segal, director of cyberspace programs at the Council on Foreign Relations reportedly said.
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