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TikTok Reportedly Ordered By China to Remove Feishu Workplace App

Eseandre Mordi



Workplace App

The novel coronavirus has affected many economies, countries and individuals as much as it has profited others. One of those companies that have benefited largely from the Coronavirus pandemic is TikTok owned by ByteDance. With many people across nations of the globe forced to stay at home, TikTok has enjoyed a spike in the number of users which has translated to increased profits.

The Feishu workplace app is an internal messaging app of TikTok. This app allows its users to access posts from Facebook and Twitter directly as against the ban operating in China. Sometimes last year, China banned the use of Twitter and Facebook in the country as it was regarded as mediums used by individuals to spread wrong information. With both services banned in the country, other local social media services have been used to spread information and maintain communication amongst the citizens of China.

ByteDance is the owner of TikTok and the developer of Feishu – an internal workplace messaging app. The Feishu workplace app was developed sometimes in 2019 and an international version was launched in April of the same year. Just like in many other countries of the world, the Feishu workplace app has become a very popular app in China due to the ‘stay-at-home’ order forcing people to work from home. A vast number of the Chinese population makes use of this app because it combines features of great apps like Skype, Slack and Google Docs. Feishu workplace app has been in very stiff competition with Alibaba’s DingTalk app and Tenchent’s WeChat app which forced the latter to start blocking links from Feishu.

Last year, ByteDance came under serious threat from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States as it was alleged to censor pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. The US alleged that the TikTok app is a cyber-threat and in fact, banned its soldiers from using the app.

Just recently, the Chinese government is reported to have ordered ByteDance – the parent company of TikTok to take down the Feishu workplace messaging app from stores in China. According to a report from Bloomberg, this order is to last for a month and is as a result of the app giving users access to Facebook and Twitter posts.

What Effect Will This Order Have On TikTok?

With a larger customer base in China, this order will no doubt affect TikTok and its projected profits. If this order becomes effective, users in Chinese will be left with no choice than to try out other workplace messaging apps as long as the order subsists. If, and when the order is lifted, getting these customers back to the app may no longer be possible.

Alternatively, to keep its customers in Chine, ByteDance may consider the possibility of modifying the app to restrict access to Facebook and Twitter. While this may not be the right choice to make considering the effect it may have on other countries without a ban, it is an option to be considered.

This order not only affects ByteDance and TikTok, but it also affects the people of China. Being one app that has provided amazing features to enhance communication, Chinese people may find it difficult to adapt to these changes.

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