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Why China's successful video application Tik Tok worries the United States

The Chinese company Bytedance owns the TikTok application, one of the most popular today among teenagers

With about 500 million active users,
TikTok is one of the most popular mobile applications in the world, mainly among teenagers and young people.

It offers a platform for publishing short videos and for its ease of use it has become a fertile ground for the creation of memes, many of them related to music.

An example is that of TikTok users and their pets who "dressed" cowboy with an app filter to dance the theme Old Town Road, rapper Lil Nas X, a viral challenge at the time.

But some politicians in the United States are concerned that the owner of the application, the Chinese company Bytedance, represents a risk to national security.

So, is the application safe or are TikTok concerns a storm in a glass of water?

How does it work?

Videos posted on TikTok are up to 15 seconds longVideos posted on TikTok are up to 15 seconds long

Users, mostly under 20, use the application to publish videos of up to 15 seconds.

Many involve lip sync with songs, comedy routines and very novel editing tricks.

Posts are viewed by followers and not followers. By default, all accounts are public, although there is also the option to restrict publications to a personalized contact list.

An algorithm analyzes what is the material that most attracts the attention of each user, then hook it with other clips. It is easy to lose track of time as one automatically reproduces one after another.

Users can also search for specific topics or people and navigate by clicking on tags or hashtags.

TikTok also allows the sending of private messages, but this function is limited to "friends".

Anyone over the age of 13 can use it and there are parental controls.

Before TikTok, many mobile users had downloaded a similar video app called, which was owned by another Chinese company but was acquired by Bytedance in 2017, which led to the merger of the two platforms.

Bytedance, whose headquarters are in Pekn, also has a sister application, Douyin, which runs on a different network to comply with Chinese censorship rules.

Why does TikTok worry?

In China, the application is known as Douyin and works through a different network to comply with government regulationsIn China, the application is known as Douyin and works through a different network to comply with government regulations