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Netflix Names TikTok as a Major Competitor For First Time

By Ding Yi / Jul 22, 2020 05:22 PM / World

Hugely popular short video app TikTok has been publicly labeled by Netflix as a major competitor for the first time, as global pushbacks have left the Chinese app’s global expansion plans almost in tatters.

“TikTok’s growth is astounding, showing the fluidity of internet entertainment,” the U.S. video streaming giant said in a letter to shareholders tied to its second-quarter earnings report. The letter also listed WarnerMedia, Disney, and NBCUniversal as Netflix’s opponents.

Netflix has long included a competition section in its earnings reports to explain its ideas about its rivals ranging from traditional TV networks to online video services. Apart from YouTube and Facebook, Netflix has never before name-checked popular social media and video apps as a threat big enough to challenge it, according to a report by Quartz.

Netflix’s move comes as ByteDance-owned TikTok encounters setbacks in its global expansion push due to its handling of user data and alleged ties to the Chinese government.

TikTok has been banned in India, and is now facing tightened scrutiny in many of its overseas markets including the U.S., Australia and the European Union. In the U.S., where the government is also considering a ban, TikTok is expanding its lobbying team in an effort to ensure a more favorable operating environment in the country.

As one of the world’s most popular apps, TikTok has amassed more than 2 billion downloads on Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store and garnered over 800 million monthly active users globally.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: Cover Story: Will TikTok Be the Next Huawei?


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