Over the last few months, many popular social media sites have come under fire due to their unshakable link with China and its ruthless government. Manipulation of data regarding the spread of COVID-19, border disputes with multiple countries, and evidence of unauthorized tracking in many of the popular apps — China hasn’t also done itself any favors lately.
The super-popular short video-sharing app, TikTok, has become the latest talking point following its ban in India. The United States has also started looking into the matter and could ban TikTok in the States in the coming weeks. With TikTok facing an almost inevitable doom, popular TikTokers have already started thinking about alternatives. And Instagram, being one of the biggest names in the industry, has emerged as an obvious favorite.
People, who aren’t well acquainted with Instagram, are eager to know about its origin — specifically if Insta, too, has its roots in China. So, we have taken upon ourselves to answer the most basic queries and help you get the peace you mind you deserve.
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Is Instagram a Chinese App?
Instagram was created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger in San Francisco, USA. In April 2012, Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook started the process of buying the company for a whopping $1 billion. After completing the transaction, Facebook took Instagram under its umbrella but kept the company independent. And coming to Facebook, we all know how deeply American the company is.
So, to summarize, Instagram is not a Chinese company. It was created by two Americans in San Francisco and is now owned by the leading social media platform on the planet, Facebook, which is also an American corporation.
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Will Instagram get banned like TikTok?
Considering that Instagram is the farthest thing from a China-based application and doesn’t spy on its users unsolicitedly, we don’t see any reason why Instagram would be banned in the States or anywhere in the world.
After the TikTok fiasco, even the somewhat sketchy apps would do their best to get their act together, hoping they don’t get banned from Google Play or App Store for good.
So, if you are a creator and are planning a life without TikTok, you can definitely take a look at Instagram Reels as an alternative to TikTok. That, and YouTube Shorts, but the latter is in the production plans only yet as it hasn’t launched yet.
Related: What is Instagram Reels? A great TikTok alternative
Why did TikTok get banned?
As mentioned, TikTok is not yet banned in the United States, but the authorities are seriously discussing to take the cue from India. In a recent interview with FOX News, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo confirmed that the country is looking into the issue — unauthorized information collection and sharing with the Chinese government — “very seriously” and warned people not to keep the app on their devices.
India, which used to be TikTok’s largest foreign market, shared multiple reports of data breach, where sensitive user information was shared with servers in China without the user’s knowledge and consent. The border dispute between China and India has also played a key role in escalating the issue, but the security concerns were prevalent from the very beginning.
Recently, TikTok was scrutinized for leaking a video from a user’s Drafts folder without their knowledge. While it could’ve easily been a rogue bug, TikTok didn’t feel the need to clear the air after the incident and give its users the clarity they deserved.
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How to get TikTok despite the ban
If you are an avid TikToker and used to make a few extra bucks off it, the ban or upcoming ban is bound to feel like a big setback. However, if you aren’t too bothered with the security concerns and are desperate to jump back into the fascinating world of TikTok, there is an unusual workaround.
TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, doesn’t allow the native to use the international version — TikTok — due to China’s strict policies. So, ByteDance has rebranded TikTok as Douyin and made it comply with all the Chinese policies. Douyin looks and feels identical to TikTok and even has a wallet functionality built into it.
Downloading, of course, is a little tricky, as you won’t get the apps on Google Play or App Store. If you are an Android user, you could download the APK file from APK Mirror and get to it. Installing the app on iOS, on the other hand, won’t be that straightforward. You’ll need to change your location to China and then download the app from the App Store.
We have created a complete guide on Chinese TikTok, so make sure to check that out.
What are your thoughts on TikTok getting banned?