Will Tiktok disappear from our phones?

More TikTok for Americans and Europeans soon? For several months, pressure has been building around the hugely popular Chinese application. TikTok is viewed by many Western elected officials as a national security threat due to its ownership by a Chinese company.

The latest blow to the application: The United Kingdom has banned TikTok “with immediate effect” on government equipment due to security concerns. A ban that joins a long list in Europe. The European Commission, the European Parliament and the Belgian government have recently taken similar decisions for the mobile phones of their civil servants. In the United States, the pressure is even greater. The Biden administration is threatening to ban the Chinese app outright.

Symbol of Sino-US tension

Hugely popular, the app is used by more than 100 million Americans, while the White House has already banned officials of federal institutions from having the app on their smartphones in an application of legislation approved in early January. Recently, the US government recommended selling its application to Chinese conglomerate ByteDance under penalty of sanctions. The fall in February of an alleged Chinese spy balloon triggered renewed efforts in Congress to ban the entertaining short video service, which has been accused of giving Beijing access to worldwide user data, which it has always denied. Rejected.

“If the aim is to protect national security, a divestment will not solve the problem: (the application of) the fact that a change in ownership will not mean new restrictions on the flow of data or access to it”, a spokesperson responded. Expressed Tik Tok. But the Chinese giant does not intend to let it go, and will have spent more than $5 million in 2022 on lobbying.

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9.5 million visitors per day in France

In Europe, TikTok has surrounded itself with outside service providers to disseminate its message, such as Image 7, a firm headed by Annie Max, which will provide these consulting activities until 2022. In France, the tension across the Atlantic is not as strong, but the application is also in the eyes of the authorities. TikTok is the subject of a commission of inquiry launched on March 13, chaired by Senator Claude Malhuret, and whose hearings began on March 13 with testimony from artificial intelligence researcher Marc Fadaul.

If its ban for French civil servants is not currently on the agenda, Jean-Noël Barot, the ministerial representative for the digital transition, received TikTok’s leaders on March 10. The interviews will be specifically focused on Data Security. According to Médiamétrie, TikTok is the application with the strongest growth in France in 2022 (+39%), with 9.5 million unique visitors every day.

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$18 billion in advertising revenue by 2023

Despite threats of a ban, the impressive growth of Chinese apps doesn’t seem to be slowing down. According to eMarketer, advertising revenue on TikTok is expected to reach $18 billion in 2023 and $24 billion the following year.

Because the platform is essential for brands looking to reinvent their target. According to the latest GenZ Pulse Barometer, 51% of 15-24 year olds see TikTok as the most futuristic platform, while Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are increasingly being neglected. “The engagement there is very high, with two-thirds of unique monthly visitors going there every day,” says Bertrand Krug, Médiamétrie’s director of digital and press.

(with AFP)


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