TikTok, the security-challenged app that lets teenagers and bored nurses post short video clips, is in the news because President Trump threatened to ban the app over privacy and security concerns related to the app’s Chinese parent company. Because Trump suggested it, people like Sen. Chuck Schumer and David Hogg have made 180-degree turns on their previous concerns about the app being Chinese spyware.
We find TikTok to be annoying for the most part, but plenty of people are arguing that Trump wants to ban it only because it’s popular among young Joe Biden supporters who are using the app to network and promote their candidate.
Now Slate is calling TikTok China’s most significant cultural export.
TikTok is China’s most significant cultural export. https://t.co/wPGneNF6al
— Slate (@Slate) August 2, 2020
Joshua Keating reports on how Japan softened its image with products like Nintendo’s game consoles and Hello Kitty, but China has not reaped a similar benefit:
Chinese-made products have been a ubiquitous part of American life for decades now, but TikTok is different. It’s not only the most successful Chinese consumer software product, it’s arguably China’s most successful cultural export.
TikTok … truly is a cultural behemoth—the seventh most downloaded app of the decade and increasingly where new trends in pop music, fashion, and comedy emerge into the zeitgeist. So why isn’t the fact that millions of young people around the world are glued to a Chinese app more of a benefit for China?
Because Communist China is a human rights nightmare and TikTok is practically malware? But is it really China’s most significant cultural export?
you guys can't even compete with @TheBabylonBee anymore.
— Tony Bruno (@TonyBrunoShow) August 3, 2020
Okay, I'm not going to be mean because I know you're only 12, but (1) Slate should not be using child labor; (2) you need to pick up a history book, not just make cute little videos on TikTok, dear.
— Just L (aka Belaglik) (@JustLittleOldL) August 3, 2020
Your entire staff is unaware of anything less than 20 years old…
— Foosball is the Devil (@nivratsmom) August 3, 2020
I'd say this is racist, but I know you're just mind numbingly ignorant.
— Kool Story Bro (@ARaised_Eyebrow) August 3, 2020
This parody site sucks. 👆
— Man-Bear-Pig (@Man_Bear_Pig3) August 3, 2020
HAHAHA. Wow this is such a very nasty insult to Chinese culture.
— Sean Drasher (@SeanDrasher) August 3, 2020
This is a dumb take
— lara reid (@LaraHReid) August 2, 2020
— I didn't vote for him, so think of a new retort (@jtLOL) August 3, 2020
You're presupposing that the point of TikTok was to win hearts and minds and not slowly extend China's grip to other digital spheres.
— Noam Blum (@neontaster) August 3, 2020
The Chinese invented both paper and printing, created gunpowder and porcelain, and were the world’s first tea drinkers. TikTok is cute but doesn’t come close. https://t.co/bUN5Thzao1
— Angela Morabito (@AngelaLMorabito) August 3, 2020
COVID-19 is probably more significant.
— GlutenLVR (@the_matt_daddy) August 3, 2020
No, you're forgetting about pandemics.
— Crapplefratz – The Hipster Wookie (@Crapplefratz) August 3, 2020
Wrong……… it is Viral Death. pic.twitter.com/bvuZeBzfOh
— Kneel Before ZOD (@ZodKneel) August 2, 2020
I dunno, the COVID they exported seems to be a pretty potent culture.
— JoggingWithBurritos (@JoggingBurrito) August 3, 2020
They have over 5000 years of cultural history but this is their significant cultural export.
— Reclaiming my time as The camopapa Who Laughs (@camopapa0410) August 3, 2020
I’m sure paper, gunpowder, printing press and the compass agree.
— Mike Bolinder🌊 (@MikeBolinder) August 3, 2020
Not gunpowder? Not movable type printing? Not tea? Not silk?
— Clovis (@clovis69) August 3, 2020
Because gun powder and paper are so 1800s
— TeddySperghetti (@TeddySperghetti) August 3, 2020
Not international trade, not silk and not seismographs. It's a spyware app.
How racist of you @Slate
— Ramba Ral (@RambaRa66020826) August 3, 2020
A four thousand years old civilization reduced to a phone spyware for teenagers, good job Slate
— Clément ☨ 🇫🇷 (@skeeter_57) August 3, 2020
It’s just a Vine 2.0. Pretty offensive to claim cheap low value tech is the top cultural export from a country with such a rich history like China.
— Roscoe (@RoscoeEgan) August 3, 2020
Anything to own Trump
— Publius (@publius_publius) August 3, 2020
I hope Xi sees this.
— Fire and Whiskey 🇺🇸🥃🔥 ➐ (@whiskeyexotic) August 3, 2020
I thought that getting American media to bow down and kiss their asses was China’s most significant cultural export.
— Amrond Thardell (@amrond99) August 3, 2020
@SirajAHashmi take Slate's phone please
— Professor Booty PhD (@ProfBootyPhD) August 3, 2020
If he does that, how will they post TikTok videos?
Unless TikTok is a new Chinese dish that’s better than Szechuan pork, I have to disagree.
— They’ll come 4 U 2 (@DaMijit) August 3, 2020
‘What changed?’ David Hogg’s previous call to ‘cancel TikTok’ took a turn after Trump agreed (cue the clarifications!) https://t.co/LrEqraP7Mg
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) August 3, 2020