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  • TikTok is one of the most popular apps in the world.

    抖音是世界上最紅的 app 之一。

  • It's been downloaded over a billion times in the two years that it's been around.


  • And it has produced countless memes.


  • Even Mark Zuckerberg sees TikTok as a threat.

    就連臉書創辦人 Mark Zuckerberg 也視抖音為威脅。

  • But its rise hasn't been seamless.


  • US senators have criticized TikTok for censorship, privacy, and child safety.


  • So, what's going on with TikTok?


  • TikTok has a bit of a complicated history.


  • It's owned by a parent company called ByteDance, which is from China.

    抖音的母公司為 ByteDance ,一間中國的公司。

  • ByteDance is one of the most valuable startups in the world; it's thought to be a worth about $75 billion, which is massive.

    ByteDance 是全球最有價值的新創公司之一,該公司市值約 750 億美金,非常龐大。

  • There are definitely concerns in the US about TikTok being a Chinese app that has become hugely popular in America.

    美國的確對於抖音,一個中國的 app ,能夠在美國變得非常熱門而感到疑慮。

  • And, frankly, that's probably a mix of Americans being worried that their own homegrown companies, like Facebook, Google, etc., being outdone by a Chinese firm.

    坦白來說,還要再加上擔心美國本土公司,如 Facebook、Google 等,被中國公司超越。

  • But secondarily, you know, this... this concern feeds into the wider backdrop of, uh, the US-China trade war.


  • TikTok lets users easily share short, funny clips.


  • That means things can go viral quickly, and that virality has helped TikTok grow.


  • So, TikTok has about one billion monthly active users, which is about the same as Instagram, and TikTok, in terms of downloads, is absolutely besting the competition; it's beaten Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook.

    抖音每月的活躍用戶約為十億,與 Instagram 差不多。抖音在下載量方面,也高於競爭對手。它已經擊敗 Instagram、Snapchat 和 Facebook。

  • That's not to say in total TikTok is more popular than these apps; it's to say that it's growing really quickly.

    這並不代表抖音比這些 app 更受歡迎,而是它的成長速度十分驚人。

  • Part of the reason is because TikTok is relatively new; it's only been around properly for one or two years, and, so, there's a kind of natural newness bias there.

    一部分的原因是,抖音算比較新的 app,目前只推出一到兩年,所以它有新鮮感的存在。

  • You know, the billions of people who were already going to download Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook, they'll have probably already downloaded those apps.

    數十億人早就下載了 Instagram、WhatsApp 和 Facebook 等 app,因此他們的下載數已經不太會成長。

  • Whereas TikTok, being new, the number of, sort of, growing installs we're seeing is about people downloading that app for the first time.

    由於抖音是新出的 app,我們看到的上升下載次數,多為第一次下載的人。

  • It's all about these short video clips, most of which are kind of snappy and funny and involve someone kind of dancing and lip-syncing to music.


  • These things go viral really quickly, and it's also really easy to share what you've made on TikTok to other platforms.


  • TikTok is sort of a natural successor to the once-popular Vine.

    抖音可說是曾經紅極一時的 Vine 繼任者。

  • But there's a lot that sets TikTok apart from its current competition.


  • One of the big criticisms of, let's say, Instagram, is that everything feels very artificial on Instagram.

    Instagram 飽受抨擊的一點是,它的一切感覺都非常假。

  • It's not really an app about spontaneity or about posting spontaneously.

    App 上的貼文一點也不自然,也不即時。

  • You know, it makes people feel kind of pressured to... to post the perfect picture, by extension, show that they're... they're living the perfect life.


  • Where TikTok comes in, is it's a much more spontaneous, instantaneous, it's all about short clips, it's all about kind of goofing around.


  • It's not about looking great or perfect.


  • This is why it's so popular; people feel that they can just post immediately and they don't have to think too hard about the content.


  • I'm sure many of the more popular TikTok-ers do think very hard about what they post, but it feels much more instant than Instagram.

    我相信仍是有許多抖音的名人,會花許多時間想影片要怎麼拍,但還是比 Instagram 要來得快速許多。

  • It's pretty clear just from who's posting on TikTok that the user base is younger than your average, certainly younger than the kinds of people who use Facebook.

    從抖音上的內容,可以明顯看出平均用戶的年齡較為年輕,且絕對比 Facebook 的用戶年輕。

  • Probably younger than the 20- to 30-year-olds who are using Instagram.

    或許還比 Instagram 平均 20 至 30 歲的用戶還年輕。

  • Having so many young users is a clear sign of TikTok's popularity.


  • But it's also gotten TikTok into trouble.


  • In February, the company had to pay a 5.7-million-dollar fine after the Federal Trade Commission accused of violating US child-privacy laws.

    二月時,因聯邦貿易委員會控告抖音)違反美國兒童隱私法,該公司得付 570 萬美金 ( 約 17 億台幣) 的罰款。

  • TikTok now requires users to verify their age in the app, although the age of TikTok's users isn't the only concern people have.


  • There are definitely concerns in the US about TikTok being a Chinese app.

    美國對於身為中國 app 的抖音,有絕對的擔憂。

  • And TikTok itself isn't really a Chinese app, per se; it was born out of an acquisition called, which was popular in the US and the West.

    抖音其實並不完全是中國的 app,它誕生於曾經紅遍美國與西方國家的一款短影音 app——。

  • And ByteDance actually bought that, uh, in 2017 and re-skinned that to become what we now know as TikTok.

    ByteDance 在 2017 年收購了,將它重新包裝為我們現在所知的抖音。

  • But there's actually a sort of separate version of TikTok that is available inside China, but that's called Douyin, and that's slightly different.

    但其實在中國要用別的抖音,叫 Douyin,與國際版的抖音 (TikTok) 有些微的不同。

  • Recently, Republican Senater Marco Rubio called for a committee investigation into TikTok over whether it should ever have been allowed to buy, which is not a Chinese company, and then, sort of, turn it into TikTok.

    近期共和黨議員 Marco Rubio 要求成立委員會調查抖音,來看它是否有被允許買下非中國公司的,並將之轉換為抖音。

  • Whether that investigation actually happens, I think, remains to be seen, and is, sort of, dependent on the US political environment.


  • Something to remember is that there's a much larger culture of fear, especially in the US, about China and Chinese companies.


  • There's still some criticism that TikTok, being owned by a Chinese company, might succumb to some pressure by the Chinese government.


  • Either to hand over data on its users to the Chinese government or to, kind of, censor topics that, you know, would be fine in the West and in Europe, but not ,sort of, okay inside China.


  • We're not actually really conclusively sure that China does have an influence.


  • Recently, "The Guardian" got hold of some moderation guidelines that show that, certainly, the parent company, ByteDance, was thinking about, um, you know, censoring videos that might be... that might cause offense to the Chinese government and other regimes.

    近期,《衛報》獲得一些抖音公司的審核指南,顯示現在抖音的母公司 Bytedance 正在考慮審查可能會觸怒中國政府或其他政權的影片。

  • It wasn't just talking about moderating content offensive to China; it was talking about generally political content, too.


  • So we do know that there are some thoughts, uh, inside the company about censorship.


  • But what we don't really know is, you know, practically how this filters through.


  • There isn't an awful lot of proof that, uh, TikTok does take guidance from China in terms of what users can and can't post.


  • So far, the company has been quite good about explaining to journalists, uh, or at least giving statements to journalists, about how it works.


  • But it's definitely gonna continue batting off those concerns.


  • There's really no easy answer to how TikTok can balance free speech with Chinese censorship.


  • It's gonna have to make calls on a case-by-case basis; it's probably gonna have to be really transparent about how and why it makes decisions.


  • But overall, other companies are really struggling with, uh... the... you know, appeasing China and... and maintaining the balance with free speech, including American companies.


  • So, Apple has run into issues over, um, banning an app related to the Hong Kong protests, and there's criticism that Apple has really kowtowed to China over that decision.

    蘋果近期下架了香港民主運動的 app,有人批評 Apple 這個決定是在向中國卑躬屈膝的表示。

  • And, so, you know, even American companies are really struggling with, uh, keeping Chinese consumers and China's government happy while, you know, maintaining that balance with free speech.


  • Despite its rapid growth, TikTok hasn't developed a strong source of revenue.


  • TikTok has a lot of venture-capital backing, but it will have to generate a profit eventually, which could mean ads or pay-walled features.


  • But if TikTok wants to continue growing at its current rate, it's going to have to find a way to gain the public's trust outside of China.


TikTok is one of the most popular apps in the world.

抖音是世界上最紅的 app 之一。

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