Technology TikTok’s New Tools Seek to Deepen Ties With U.S. App Developers

00:10  05 november  2019
00:10  05 november  2019 Source:   bloomberg.com

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(Bloomberg) -- TikTok, the music-video-sharing mobile app owned by China’s ByteDance Inc., unveiled new tools to let third-party developers integrate their content onto its platform, seeking to deepen ties in the U.S. even as it faces growing scrutiny from lawmakers over data security.

Signage is displayed at the TikTok Creator's Lab 2019 event hosted by Bytedance Ltd. in Tokyo.© Photographer: Shiho Fukada/Bloomberg Signage is displayed at the TikTok Creator's Lab 2019 event hosted by Bytedance Ltd. in Tokyo.

The new features will let TikTok users edit videos in other apps, such as Adobe Inc.’s Premiere Rush, and publish them directly on TikTok, helping users create new original content. In addition to Adobe, TikTok is also teaming up with augmented-reality company Fuse.it, photo- and video-editing program PicsArt, image-animating app Plotaverse and other outside app developers.

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TikTok, known for light-hearted, buzzy short videos, is one of the few Chinese internet companies to catch on in the U.S. Integration with third-party services can help apps expand into new audiences, and it’s a strategy that was used aggressively by social media companies like Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. in their earlier years. But such integrations have also posed a threat to user privacy, primarily because users who agree to post from one app to another often share much more information than they realize.

This kind of data sharing is at the root of almost all of Facebook’s privacy issues that have surfaced over the past two years. Facebook had many information-sharing relationships with third-party developers, and some of them, like the researcher who sold user data to Cambridge Analytica, took advantage of the partnership to collect massive amounts of data from Facebook users without their knowledge. Facebook has since tried to clean up those partnerships, and announced in September that it had severed ties with tens of thousands of third-party apps that were using its software.

EXCLUSIVE: U.S. opens national security investigation into TikTok -sources

  EXCLUSIVE: U.S. opens national security investigation into TikTok -sources The U.S. government has launched a national security review of TikTok owner Beijing ByteDance Technology Co's $1 billion acquisition of U.S. social media app Musical.ly, according to two people familiar with the matter. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); While the $1 billion acquisition was completed two years ago, U.S.

TikTok has been downloaded more than 110 million times in the U.S., and has been growing more popular among U.S. teens at a time when tensions have escalated between the U.S. and China over trade and technology. TikTok’s burgeoning popularity has made it a fresh rival to Facebook and Instagram, and has also drawn the attention of U.S. senators who see it as a potential threat.

Last week, the U.S. government opened a national security review of TikTok, according to a person familiar with the investigation. Beijing-based ByteDance bought Musical.ly two years ago for almost $1 billion to merge it with TikTok. The deal was seen as a way for the Chinese company to expand abroad and capitalize on an increasing appetite for short video. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., also known as CFIUS, which reviews deals by foreign acquirers for potential national security risks, has begun to review the purchase amid increasing concern about TikTok’s expanding influence.

The companies included in TikTok’s new program are likely to get a boost from the integration. For a small developer like Plotaverse, a partnership with TikTok could have a sizable impact on visibility and growth. It will also allow the app developer to access the growing Chinese market, Plotaverse said in a statement.

--With assistance from Kurt Wagner.

To contact the author of this story: Candy Cheng in San Francisco at ccheng86@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Alistair Barr

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

TikTok report says China didn't request user info in the first half of 2019 .
In its first-ever transparency report, TikTok claims it didn't receive any user information requests from the Chinese government in the first half of 2019. Instead, the majority of both legal and government-related requests came from India. In all, TikTok says it fielded 107 legal requests related to 143 Indian accounts, and provided authorities with user information in 47 percent of cases. Following India, TikTok received the most user information requests from American authorities. In the US, it got 79 requests related to 255 accounts, and went on to share information in 86 percent of cases. In third was Japan, where authorities requested information 35 times.

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