For the longest time, California’s Silicon Valley has been the one calling the shots and shaping the future of the online and tech world. However, there’s a new player in the game: TikTok. China’s social media app that can potentially change our future in more ways than we could imagine.
The Slow Rise Of Chinese Technology
There’s a recent trend where Chinese technology is continuously rising. It even got to the point where Western apps are trying to mimic Chinese social media platforms instead of the other way around. The most popular example is the rise of China-based social media platform, TikTok. As of today, TikTok has 609 million active users every month, a million of which is from the United States while another million is from the European region.
Like many other Chinese apps, TikTok downplays its Chinese origin by making it look like a global platform. Which is less intimidating for foreign users explaining the lack of Chinese traces and identity biases inside the app.
The primary backlash against TikTok happened when former President Donald Trump said that the said social media app is a threat to national security. This comment was made without sufficient evidence whatsoever although other countries have brought up similar claims of late. The app was fully banned in India last June 2020. It was also banned for ten days in October in Pakistan.
How It Influences Change
There are many ways by which Chinese tech is influencing Western platforms. One main example is the Chinese trend of “superapps.” These applications are platforms where you can do many things through one single app. The most popular combination is social media entertainment and eCommerce. Where, like Douyin or Instagram, you can buy items that are endorsed by the most popular users on said app. As well, WeChat is more than just a way to communicate with friends and family. You can also use it to send payments to different merchants.
The popularity of this type of app in China is rooted in people’s desire to be productive – to hit two birds with one stone. It’s nice to have all of your essentials in one place, like socializing with friends, hailing a cab, sending payments, and receiving social media entertainment.
Improved Moderation On Apps
There are criticisms launched at these Chinese apps. For example, TikTok was called out for its bias against overweight and disabled creators. The company said that this issue was addressed through algorithm edits. As of today, they strive to create an open and welcoming platform.
It’s still noticeable that TikTok has gotten more proactive compared to Western apps, like YouTube. It uses human staff to personally review and take down videos that violate their rules and regulations. As such, they’re less aggressive with taking down videos that creators worked so hard for. Conversely, YouTube uses automated software which causes them to lag behind. This automated system automatically takes down flagged videos without even being reviewed. This is seen as too harsh on creators.
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