Is TikTok a threat to global security? | The Stream

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The video item below is a piece of English language content from Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera is a Qatari state-funded broadcaster based in Doha, Qatar, owned by the Al Jazeera Media Network.

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  • How concerned should social media users be about TikTok? The short-form video app – which has gained massive popularity around the world – is being investigated by the US government as a threat to national security and as a tool that could be used for surveillance of millions. The app, whose parent company is based in Beijing, boasts 800 million active users worldwide, and 165 million in the US alone. India recently called TikTok a “threat to sovereignty” and banned it along with 58 other Chinese mobile apps. And the US may soon follow suit as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced last week that he is looking into blocking Chinese apps including TikTok and WeChat.

    US politicians have raised concerns that TikTok could be used by the Chinese government in espionage, blackmail or intellectual property theft. In this episode, we’ll examine the allegations surrounding TikTok and other Chinese tech.

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    In This Story: Beijing

    Beijing, China’s sprawling capital, has history stretching back 3 millennia. Yet it’s known as much for modern architecture as its ancient sites such as the grand Forbidden City complex, the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties.

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    India, officially the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the second-most populous country, the seventh-largest country by land area, and the most populous democracy in the world. New Delhi is the capital.

    It has an exceptionally diverse population, with Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and other religions speaking over 21 recognised languages.

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  • In This Story: Mike Pompeo

    Mike Pompeo is an American politician, diplomat, businessman, and attorney who, since April 2018, has been serving as 70th United States secretary of state. He is a former United States Army officer and was Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from January 2017 until April 2018.

    President Donald Trump nominated Pompeo as secretary of state in March 2018, with Pompeo succeeding Rex Tillerson after his dismissal. Pompeo was confirmed by the Senate on April 26, 2018, in a 57–42 vote and was sworn in the same day.

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  • In This Story: TikTok

    TikTok, known in China as Douyin, is a Chinese video-sharing social networking service owned by ByteDance, a Beijing-based Internet technology company founded in 2012 by Zhang Yiming. It is used to create short music, lip-sync, dance, comedy and talent videos of 3 to 15 seconds, and short looping videos of 3 to 60 seconds.

    ByteDance first launched Douyin for the Chinese market in September 2016. Later, TikTok was launched in 2017 for iOS and Android in most markets outside of mainland China; however, it only became available worldwide, including the United States, after merging with another Chinese social media service Musical.ly on 2 August 2018.

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