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Mahmoud Bennett

Social Media Producer/Reporter

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Tech

Chinese-backed apps gain popularity in US despite security concerns

Mar 28, 2023

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Mahmoud Bennett

Social Media Producer/Reporter

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As U.S. lawmakers continue to scrutinize the popular social media app TikTok, and mulls over a potential ban on the app in the country, other Chinese-linked apps are rising in popularity among American users. Despite concerns over data privacy, four of the top 10 most downloaded apps across the App Store and Google Play store in the past 30 days are owned by Chinese companies.

Temu, TikTok, CapCut and Shein, collectively accounted for over 30 million U.S. downloads between Feb. 26 and Mar 26. 2023. Axios notes, while an increasing number of Chinese apps are becoming popular to download, these apps still struggle to provide American users with the same sense of daily utility as those made by U.S. companies.

On the other hand, American apps have not gained the same traction in China, mainly because the Chinese government blocks or bans most of them, including Facebook, Google, YouTube, Twitch and WhatsApp.

In turn, analysts note that this is benefiting Beijing, as the strict control of tech firms and algorithms in China has given them an advantage in creating highly successful apps. Chinese companies are able to “leverage China’s one billion internet users to test user preferences and optimize their AI models at home, then export the tech overseas,” The Wall Street Journal reports.

However, with uncertainty surrounding the extent to which Chinese entities can access U.S. user information, American lawmakers are increasingly concerned about the potential national security implications, with TikTok being the primary focus.

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AS US LAWMAKERS FOCUS ON TIKTOK AND POTENTIALLY BANNING THE APP ON ALL US DEVICES – IT TURNS OUT OTHER CHINESE- LINKED APPS ARE BECOMING NOT LESS BUT MORE POPULAR AMONG AMERICANS

DESPITE DATA PRIVACY CONCERNS, 4 OF THE TOP 10 MOST DOWNLOADED APPS ACROSS THE IOS AND GOOGLE PLAY STORES OVER THE PAST 30 DAYS ARE OWNED BY.. CHINESE COMPANIES: TEMUM, TIKTOK, CAPCUT AND SHEIN COLLECTIVELY ACCOUNTED FOR OVER 30 MILLION US DOWNLOADS ACCORDING TO AXIOS

ON THE FLIP SIDE AMERICAN APPS ARE NOT GETTING BIGGER IN CHINA… THAT’S BECAUSE THE CCP BLOCKS OR BANS MOST OF THEM INCLUDING FACEBOOK, GOOGLE, YOUTUBE, TWITCH, WHATSAPP AND MANY MORE 

AND BEIJING IS BENEFITING. THE STRICT CONTROL OF TECH FIRMS AND ALGORITHMS IN CHINA HAS GIVEN THEM A LEG UP IN CREATING EXTREMELY SUCCESSFUL APPS

ANALYSTS SAY THAT’S BECAUSE CHINA CAN USE ITS ONE BILLION INTERNET USERS TO TEST PREFERENCES AND OPTIMIZE THEIR OWN AI MODELS AT HOME, BEFORE EXPORTING THE TECH OVERSEAS

BUT WITH UNCERTAINTY SURROUNDING THE EXTENT TO WHICH U.S. USER INFORMATION IS ACCESSED BY CHINA – US LAWMAKERS ARE INCREASINGLY SEEING THIS AS A POTENTIAL NATIONAL SECURITY CONCERN WITH THE FOCUS NOW ON TIKTOK