Within the seven years since TikTok was born as a distinct segment lip-syncing app for Chinese language teenagers, the platform has reshaped the media panorama — forcing U.S. tech giants to reckon with a international rival. The short-form video platform has amassed startling financial energy, with greater than a billion customers and income anticipated to surpass YouTube’s, at almost $25 billion by 2025.
Critics argue that TikTok’s Chinese language father or mother firm, ByteDance, makes the app a nationwide safety risk, doubtlessly permitting it to share knowledge about its American customers or steer its algorithms at Beijing’s behest. This concern has spiraled right into a slew of political motion: A former president tried to ban the platform, and greater than two dozen states have barred the app from government-owned units — a panic that some describe as a risk to free speech in America.
The controversy over TikTok is a stand-in for a bunch of political discontents. Right here’s how TikTok went from a teen sensation to Washington’s boogeyman: