Lawmakers in Japan are now demanding to restrict the use of TikTok and other apps developed by Chinese firms, following the footstep of India, which has already blocked many Chinese apps. The US is floating the idea to ban using these Chinese apps.
Japanese lawmakers are considering banning Chinese-made apps citing concerns that user data could end up in the hands of the Chinese government.
As per reports, the US has been asking Japan and other allied nations to join the movement and ban Chinese technology and its apps such as TikTok, over the basis that they are likely being used to provide data and information to Beijing. This gathering of information by China has been described as weaponized public diplomacy with an ulterior political motive.
The Japanese lawyers shared the concern similar to the US officials and Indian government that their domestic user data could end up in the hand of Beijing, and the US has made plans to submit the proposal to the Japanese government as early as September.
However, there was no indication of the other Chinese apps that the US is planning to tell Japan to ban.
Keith Krach, undersecretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment at the US State Department said, “The US expects Japan to work with it, saying the ban would deepen solidarity and unity with the US allies.”
Japan was one of TikTok’s first overseas success cases despite being considered a tough market for foreign internet firms to make a place. The localization team of TikTok went all out to attract celebrity users and made its breakthrough with Kinoshita Yukina, a TV personality, after many rounds of discussions. And it is Kinoshita’s participation which brought in other stars and their fans to the platform.
According to research firm App Annie, in Japan iOS store, TikTok has regularly ranked at the top among entertainment apps and is the fifth-most downloaded app across all categories in the country.
A TikTok spokesperson reiterated the app’s distance from Chinese control and said, “There’s a lot of misinformation about TikTok. The company has an American CEO with decades of industry, US military and law enforcement experience, and a US team that works diligently to develop a best-in-class security infrastructure. Four of our parent company’s five board seats are controlled by some of the world’s best-respected global investors. TikTok user data is stored in the US and Singapore, with strict controls on employee access.”
Bans on Chinese apps like TikTok have benefitted companies like Facebook, which rushed to launch a TikTok type app Instagram Reels in India this month. The company is also expected to announce the feature in the US in August, and influencers in both countries have been rushing to build their following on other platforms.
The Indian ban is certainly a big misfortune for Chinese developers craving for the fastest-growing internet market. Japan, on the other hand, is a far more worthwhile and lucrative market in the world.