TikTok beats Google, becomes most visited website in 2021: report
Published: Dec 23, 2021 07:32 PM
The logo of TikTok is displayed on the screen of a smartphone in front of a TV screen displaying the TikTok logo. Photo: VCG

The logo of TikTok is displayed on the screen of a smartphone in front of a TV screen displaying the TikTok logo. Photo: VCG

Chinese short-video app TikTok, owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, ranks first in the 2021 most visited websites list, according to web security and performance company Cloudflare. 

TikTok only ranked seventh in 2020. TikTok was also the only Chinese app that ranked among the top 10.

There were some days when Google was leading the list, but October and November were mostly dominated by TikTok, including Thanksgiving Day on November 25 and Black Friday on November 26.

Among social media sites, TikTok also topped the list in 2021, beating competitors such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. TikTok ranked second in 2020, following Facebook.

Huang Rihan, executive dean of the Beijing-based think tank Digital Economy, told the Global Times on Thursday that the global success of the Chinese-owned app amid the dominance of US-based internet giants was a credit to China's support for short-video sector development and ByteDance's own international strategy.

The success of TikTok in overseas markets is also inseparable from the "effort of publicity" from former US president Donald Trump, who initiated a sweeping wave of crackdowns on Chinese tech firms in 2020, Huang noted.

The company was threatened with a US business ban under the Trump administration, citing national security concerns, which would have pushed the app into American ownership. 

US President Joe Biden dropped the ban in June but called for a broader review on a number of foreign apps that could pose a "security risk" to Americans and their data.

"Just like the saying that what could not kill you makes you stronger, TikTok not only survived the crisis but also thrived as more people around the world, especially those who did not use the app before, started to paying attention to it," he said.

TikTok announced in September that it had 1 billion monthly active users, which happened years earlier than Facebook and Instagram reached that milestone.

"It is the company's unique mode of content creation and profit generation that help secure its current position, making it one of the fastest-growing social media platforms in the world. In this sense, it has overtaken its US rivals," said Huang.

Global Times