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What role will China's algorithm tech play in China

作者:admin 2020-09-15

What role will China's algorithm tech play in China

TikTok. Photo: VCG

As TikTok was reported to have rejected selling its core algorithm technology to a US firm after its parent company ByteDance said it would strictly follow the new Chinese regulations over restrictions on exports of certain technologies, experts told the Global Times on Monday that competitive algorithm technologies of some Chinese tech giants are becoming a new target of the US in its war against China's tech rise. 

China's algorithm technology is in a leading position globally, in contrast to the domestic chip industry which is far behind that of the US. As the trade war initiated by the US has spread to other fields including the tech industry, analysts said algorithm technology has become an important factor in the tech war. 

Fang Xingdong, director of the Consortium of Internet and Society at the Communication University of Zhejiang, told the Global Times on Monday that algorithm technology is based on big data and China has obvious advantages in this area, especially in entertainment and lifestyle applications such as short videos, which have huge numbers of users.

"No country in the world is stronger than China in this field and even the US is not an opponent," he said.  

According to Fang, the TikTok algorithm is the app's core technology and the foundation of its success. "It is TikTok's advanced algorithm that makes its video content well organized and presented, so that it fits the tastes of global users," he said.

TikTok reportedly remained the world's most downloaded non-gaming app in August with more than 63.3 million installations in the month. It surpassed 2 billion downloads in April amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The US companies not only want to get TikTok's algorithm but also its huge user database, said TikTok user and IT expert Zhu Yikun, who designs intelligent navigation and Internet of Things (IoT) systems for civil airports.

"By fully analyzing and classifying its user data, the TikTok algorithm can build more accurate user portraits than its competitors do, and then it can have more accurate, personalized and optimized content that suits the demands of its users," Zhu told the Global Times.

He refuted the US accusation that TikTok's algorithm threatens the country's national security, saying it just reflects the US' double standards.

"Many American products, including Twitter and Facebook, have a large user base in many countries and the issue of them leaking users' data privacy has been exposed," he said. "On the one hand, US companies collect users' data from all over the world; while on the other hand, the US keeps criticizing foreign companies for collecting American users' data."

Zhu said the while China's algorithm technology has made big breakthroughs, it can have further improvements. "There are still some shortcomings in the algorithm framework, such as in the Spilt Neural Network. Google and other US companies are more mature in this aspect," he said.

Zhu speculated that a key reason why the US wants to buy the Tiktok algorithm is to get its users' data. "Tech companies like Tiktok should not sell their algorithm tech. If it is sold, it will be easier for other countries to get our user data, which could pose challenges for our national security. If they master our algorithm technology, they can analyze and get users' personal information based on analyzing the data and if these users are related to national security, it may have a dangerous effect," Zhu said.  

Zhu noted that in addition to algorithm technology, China also has a leading edge in 4G and 5G mobile networks, mobile data processing and network security protection, which are products derived from the development of big data and characterized by openness and sharing.

Posted in: ECONOMY

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