The Economist: Money talks

Money Talks: TikTok’s ticking time bomb—an episode from our archive



It’s the fastest growing app in the world, filled with dance trends, cats misbehaving, and questionable financial advice. Teenagers love it; Western politicians are less convinced. Could TikTok’s popularity be its downfall?In one of our favourite episodes of 2022, hosts Mike Bird, Alice Fulwood and Soumaya Keynes investigate just who is afraid of TikTok’s growing influence. First, our media editor Tom Wainwright unpacks the relationship between TikTok, its parent company ByteDance, and its Chinese twin, Douyin. Then, AB Bernstein’s Robin Zhu outlines just how big a threat the app poses to the likes of Facebook, Snapchat, and YouTube. Plus, Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr outlines his concerns about TikTok’s ability to harvest user data. And we ask: how long before this ticking geopolitical time-bomb blows up? Sign up for our new weekly newsletter dissecting the big themes in markets, business and the economy at For full access to print, digital and audio