By prohibiting the application WeChat and TikTok in the United States within a period of 45 days, the us president, Donald Trump is attacking two giants of the chinese internet to the global ambitions and opens a new front in the rivalry technology with Beijing.
What is WeChat?
It is an instant messaging service launched in 2011 and provides the origin of similar features in the u.s. WhatsApp (exchange of texts, photos and videos). WeChat was the first to propose a function, audio messages, which has made it very popular in China.
Since then, a very wide range of services have been integrated to the application that is now more of an ecosystem: payment by phone (online or in-store via a system of bar codes), wireless news, hotels, or travel, video games, finance online…
Known under the name of Weixin in mandarin, WeChat account no less than 1.2 billion active users. They are mainly chinese even if the application is available in nearly twenty languages.
It is the property of Tencent, a giant chinese digital and the undisputed leader of the video game on a smartphone. The private group has a time competed with Facebook in terms of weight stock.
An app under surveillance
WeChat has been pinned by Citizen Lab, an institute that specialises in the control of information and based at the University of Toronto, for having censored any reference to the novel coronavirus at the beginning of the epidemic in China.
Certain terms redacted related information made official by the suite, such as the fact that the virus was contagious among humans.
In the name of stability, it is common in China for the internet giants to remove content considered politically sensitive, often referred to as “rumors”.
WeChat filter the content of all the registered users with telephone numbers in chinese, was at Citizen Lab in 2016.
TikTok, 2 billion downloads
Dances or songs playback, challenges, filmed, scenes, absurd or humorous: the app for sharing short videos has won the hearts of teenagers all over the world.
TikTok has passed in April, the milestone of 2 billion downloads in the world, according to the firm Sensor Tower, to the time when a large part of humanity was confined to because of Covid-19.
TikTok is the international version of the application Douyin (his name in mandarin), aimed it at the only chinese market.
Both of them belong to the private group ByteDance, founded in Beijing in 2012 by Zhang Yiming, a computer engineer by training.
The thirty-year-old has built the last year the ranks of the 20 largest fortunes in China, as assessed in his case to $ 13.5 billion, according to the reference ranking Hurun.
Suspicions and controversies
Washington suspects TikTok to be a tool of spying for the intelligence services of the chinese, what app insane.
The United States accounts for TikTok the third country in terms of downloads.
In India, the application has been outlawed in the end of June in the name of national security, after a confrontation between the murderer with the China around a border dispute in the Himalayas.
Indians constitute one-third of users of TikTok in the world, according to Sensor Tower.
Already last year, TikTok had been briefly banned in the country as well as in Bangladesh, where the authorities accused him of spreading pornographic videos.
2019 always, TikTok had been shown the finger to the accounts, which post propaganda videos of the organization islamic State (EI). The application was then deleted.