Business Standard

From billion downloads to global backlash, TikTok's journey in pics

Earlier this year, TikTok appointed former Walt Disney streaming chief Kevin Mayer as its chief executive

Donald Trump, TikTok,

Donald Trump, TikTok,

ReutersBS Web Team New Delhi
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Zhang Yiming founded ByteDance in Beijing. ByteDance's core product, Toutiao, is a content platform in China and around the world.

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ByteDance launches Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok.

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TikTok is launched. ByteDance acquires U.S. video app Flipgram and lip-syncing app Musical.ly.

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ByteDance integrates Musical.ly into TikTok. Indonesian authorities ban TikTok for containing "pornography, inappropriate content and blasphemy". The ban is lifted a week later after TikTok agrees to remove "all negative content" from the app and open an office in Indonesia.

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In February, ByteDance agrees to pay a $5.7 million fine to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission over Musical.ly's illegal collection of personal information from minors. A month later, TikTok surpasses 1 billion downloads globally on Apple's App Store and Google Play. In April, Tamil Nadu court asks the Indian federal government to ban downloads of TikTok, which it said encouraged pornography. A temporary ban lasts for two weeks. Months later, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States begins reviewing TikTok's purchase of Musical.ly.

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While springs went well for TikTok, hitting 2 billion downloads globally and appointing former Walt Disney streaming chief Kevin Mayer as its chief executive, things turned topsy-turvy by June. In early June, European Union regulators begin to scrutinize TikTok's practices after the Netherlands' data protection commission decided to open an investigation into the company's policies to protect children's data. Days later, after a deadly border conflict between India and China, India banned TikTok along with dozens of other Chinese apps citing security concerns. Later on, Trump suggests a TikTok ban could be deployed to punish China for the outbreak of the coronavirus. However, in August, Microsoft announces it is exploring a purchase of TikTok's U.S., Canadian, Australian and New Zealand services. Days later, Donald Trump issues executive order banning transactions with TikTok and ByteDance, starting in 45 days. After that, President Trump orders ByteDance to divest its interest in TikTok's U.S. operations within 90 days.

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First Published: Aug 18 2020 | 11:19 AM IST

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