Censorship of TikTok: What? When? Where?

Apps Mar 18, 2021

TikTok is a social media platform designed for sharing videos, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance. The app is used to film short videos from 3 seconds to 1 minute (for some users up to 3 minutes) in various genres, usually comedy, dance, and education. TikTok was released as a Douyin app international version, which was initially was created for the Chinese market.

After Douyin was launched in 2016, it acquired 100M users with over 1B videos viewed every day within a year. It was planned to expand the app overseas. That is why TikTok was launched in 2017 for the international market, and already in a one-year period, it headed top charts among free app downloads on the stores worldwide. Currently, TikTok has been downloaded over 130M times in the USA and over 2B times worldwide.

By 2018 TikTok has become available in more than 75 languages and 150 markets. And already in 2019, TikTok was cited in media as the 7th-most-downloaded mobile application of the decade. It also became the most-downloaded application on the app (2018 – 2019), leaving Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook behind.

The new step was made in 2020 when Sony Music signed a licensing deal with TikTok. And already in the first month of 2021, TikTok signed a contract with.


■ Watch all genres of videos, starting from memes, comedy, gaming, sports, food, DIY, to pets, ASMR, and other stuff in between.

■ A video can be paused and resumed multiple times while recording with just a tap, letting to shoot as many times as needed.

■ The global community of creators entertains and inspires, showing their everyday life and unusual skills.

■ Any sound of music in all genres can be added to videos from sound playlists and viral sounds for free.

■ Creative effects, filters, and AR objects can be unlocked to edit recorded videos and put them on the next level.

■ Integrated video-editing tools let effortlessly cut, trim, merge and duplicate videos right inside the app.

Countries where it is blocked:
Governmental agencies in the countries worldwide, as well as private businesses there, have banned TikTok or at least attempted to restrict its distribution in app stores.

India blocked over 50 Chinese apps, together with TikTok, in the summer of 2020. The government states that the reason for such a decision "damage to the sovereignty and integrity of the country" and a threat to "the security of the state and public order." Indian Interior Ministry explained that citizens often provided a lot of complaints regarding personal data collected by these apps.

In the USA, the app is suspected of an illegal gathering of personal data. Thus, in 2018, TikTok was found guilty for illegally gathering data from kids under 13 without their parents' consent, and developers paid a $5.7 million fine. However, it was only the beginning. In 2019, the US Army prohibited its employees from using TikTok, as the US authorities have suspected the app of stealing user data. And in 2020, the US Department of State and Department of Homeland Security imposed a ban on using the app on office devices by employees.

In 2018, the government of Bangladesh blocked Internet access of TikTok due to pornography and gambling censorship, even though TikTok did not relate to the reason for the ban.