Tiktok– For several years, ByteDance’s TikTok has been the focus of lawmakers and intelligence officials who fear it is being used to spy on Americans. Those concerns took center stage at TikTok’s CEO Five Hour BBQ in March. ,But while TikTok is in the spotlight, other Chinese apps that pose similar problems are also enjoying popularity in the US.
commercial information when allegedly serving national security purposes.US intelligence officials and lawmakers fear the Chinese government could actually access all of the information Chinese app companies have collected from US users, from email addresses to user interests to driver’s licenses. . However, this does not seem to have convinced many consumers as several Chinese apps are still being developed in the US. For example, the shopping app Temu, owned by China’s PDD Holdings, ranked second among free apps in Apple’s App Store at the end of May.
The company also ranked 12th among digital retailers for the 2022 holiday season in terms of unique visitors to its website, according to Insider Intelligence, ahead of stores like Kohl’s, Wayfair and Nordstrom, also thanks to increased visibility on TikTok. . ByteDance’s CapCut and TikTok apps are now fourth and fifth in the App Store rankings. Chinese fast fashion brand Shein ranks fourteenth. And in late March and early April, following TikTok’s CEO hearing before Congress, ByteDance’s Lemon8 saw nearly a million downloads in the US., Insider Intelligence report based on data from Apptopia. It is an application similar to Pinterest and Meta Instagram.
These apps offer some of the features that are worrying the United States Government information about TikTok, including whether any of these companies adequately protect US user data when operating outside of China (TikTok emphasized that US user information is only stored on servers outside of China). Like TikTok, these apps collect information about users, can analyze trends in their interests, and use algorithms to target consumers with products or information that they can engage with the service. But Chinese and social media experts say there are significant differences between these apps and TikTok, which could explain the relative lack of attention. Most important of these characteristics is the extent of their presence in the United States.
While the US user base of many popular Chinese apps is growing, it’s still dwarfed by TikTok’s massive US audience of 150 million monthly active users. For example, according to Apptopia, TikTok’s sister app, Lemon8, has about 1.8 million monthly active users in the US., while TikTok had 415 million downloads in the US. According to Apptopia, since its launch, CapCut has had 99 million here, Temu has had 67 million, and Lemon8 has had 1.2 million. Only Shein tops TikTok in terms of downloads in this group of apps, despite launching much earlier in the US.
In 2014, the Shein app recorded 855 million downloads since its US debut, although Apptopia estimates that it has around 22 million monthly active users. An app with a thousand or even a million users in the US is not as widespread a cybersecurity threat as an app with 100 million users, said Lindsay Gorman, senior technology specialist at the Alliance for Securing Democracy at the German Marshall Fund TikTok also needs to develop a framework to assess the relative risk of Chinese apps. Hethem. “We are just beginning to realize that more comprehensive characterization and categorization is actually needed,” Gorman said, adding that the country should develop a more structured framework rather than using Chinese technology, which poses a threat to U.S. national security to play mole whales. But meanwhile, USA Consumers continue to use Chinese apps.
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“Chinese apps like Temu and CapCut are consistently among the most downloaded apps,” said Jasmine Enberg, senior social media analyst at Insider Intelligence. And then, of course, there’s Lemon8’s early development, which suggests that the appetite for Chinese apps in the US continues to grow.? In an e-commerce application, the risk of spreading harmful misinformation may not be as high as on a social networking site.
An e-commerce platform like Temu or Shein is probably a less viable platform for spreading propaganda than a video app like TikTok. “People just don’t spend as much time on shopping apps and aren’t necessarily exposed to the same content that can potentially negatively impact young people,” Enberg said. “Furthermore, I don’t necessarily think the connection of some of these apps to China is that clear to the average consumer, nor do I think consumers really think about where the apps they use come from.” Nadal U.S. may have found cause for concern. A recent report by CNN revealed that Temu’s subsidiary Pinduoduo, a popular shopping app in China, contains malware. The parent company of the two apps, PDD Holdings, did not respond to a request for comment.
Researchers from the United States The South China Economic and Security Review Commission drew attention to the report in its risk assessment of Temu‘s data, although an analyst recently told CNBC that Temu has not been as “aggressive” as Pinduoduo in demanding access to consumer data. At least one group saw the pressure on TikTok as a good time to voice concerns about another popular Chinese company in the US: Shein.The Shut Down Shein group, which CEO Chapin Fay says is “a coalition of individuals, American brands and human rights organizations,” was formed on the day TikTok’s CEO was brought before Congress.
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