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Business News/ News / World/  US's back and forth on TikTok ban since 2020 affects the apps' largest market?

The impending ban on Chinese technological conglomerate ByteDance owned social media app TikTok in the United States echoes the oscillating stance of the US government has taken since August 2020. 

The White house has given an ultimatum to US Federal agencies to ban the social media app TikTok within the next 30 days citing concern that China government could hack its way into the app and extract sensitive information crucial to the security of the country. 

The ban in United States comes as Canada also banned the app citing security concern. 

The governmental decision to ban an app that approximately 41 percent of users in the US is engaged with, might affect ByteDance that has found itself scrutinised for how it collects and processes user data.

However, pressure on regulators to rein in the platform has been mounting since it was revealed in December that ByteDance employees had accessed the data of Western journalists to investigate leaks to the press.

Here's taking a look at the effect the ban will have

A timeline of TikTok in United States

August 2020: Then President Donald trump bans popular Chinese social media app Tik Tok

June 2021: President Biden revokes ban imposed by Donald Trump, including the one on TikTok

February 2023: White House gives US Federal agencies a deadline of 30 days to impose a ban on TikTok on government employees

The constant indecision of the US government over a social media app in the country is also reflective of the paranoia that has been induced earlier by the Chinese Spy Balloon amid a war situation in Russia and China that has divided the world into two sparring factions- East and the West. 

US -the largest TikTok market

More and more users in US have now turned to TikTok for news and other search related queries. The threat of ban in 2020, had in turn saw a sizeable increase in the number of users who downloaded the app int he the Donald Trump governed country. 

According to Sensor Tower, TikTok generated nearly $35 million in user spending from the U.S. App Store, or a little more than 4 percent of the $850 million consumers spent on Entertainment apps on that platform. On Google Play, where TikTok is categorized as a Social app, U.S. consumers spent approximately $6.6 million, or 4 percent of the roughly $181 million generated by apps in that category.

In the US over two-thirds of all teenagers use the app, according to a 2022 study by the Pew Research Center think tank.

US youth as TikTok's biggest consumers

According to a report by DW News, health care experts have warned that TikTok's design promotes addictive behavior, thereby hooking more and more users to the app. 

And then there's the question of what impact the use of the app could have on the mental health of its predominantly young users. 

Whether the ban on TikTok for government employees in US for security concern will also effect the common consensus about the popular social media app will be one to see. 




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Updated: 28 Feb 2023, 10:48 PM IST
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