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.

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?

If he does that, how will they post TikTok videos?


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