Financial TimesFinancial Times

Can TikTok convince the world it is not a tool for China?

By Cristina Criddle, Demetri Sevastopulo, Hannah Murphy

03 Mar 2023 · 7 min read

Editor's Note

Is TikTok a "spy balloon" in your phone? U.S. lawmakers and EU leaders increasingly think so. The FT reports on TikTok's existential struggle to convince them otherwise.

On the face of it, TikTok makes for an unlikely threat to national security.

With its snackable, seconds-long videos of viral dances and comical voice-overs, it is one of the most used apps in the west, and embedded in the culture of a generation of young people. It now claims more than 1bn users worldwide and is estimated to generate more than $10bn in revenue.

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