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Data: AppTopia; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

TikTok, already threatened with a U.S. ban by President Trump, is also facing the prospect that its stunning 2020 growth could be ended by multiple bans around the world.

The state of play: TikTok is already banned in India, where it was downloaded more than 118 million times in 2020. A U.S. ban would cut into a significant amount of the user growth it has seen this year.

  • More than 50 million U.S. users downloaded the app in 2020, per AppTopia.
  • The company says that TikTok has more than 100 million American users.

The big picture: As Axios has previously noted, more than any other Chinese-owned app, TikTok has found success outside of its homeland. But an increasing number of countries are beginning to eye bans of the app.

  • Japan is also mulling a ban of TikTok and other Chinese-owned apps. As TechCrunch notes, Japan was one of TikTok's first oversees success stories.
  • Pakistan has put TikTok on notice for featuring what the government calls inappropriate content. Pakistan issued a "final warning" to TikTok in late July.
  • Hong Kong passed a sweeping security law earlier this year that caused TikTok to discontinue operating there.
  • Indonesia, one of TikTok's more popular markets, temporarily banned the app in 2018 for "inappropriate content." The ban was quickly overturned once the company agreed to censor “negative content,” per Reuters.

What's happening: TikTok has launched a Washington offensive in an attempt to assure regulators and users that it does not share any data with the Chinese government and that it's willing to abide by any regulations necessary to remain in the U.S.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to remove a reference to Australia's investigation of security concerns over TikTok. Australian prime minister Scott Morrison announced Wednesday that the nation would not ban the app, though he urged caution in its use.

Go deeper

Facebook and Google extend political ad ban

Photo: SOPA Images / Getty Images

Facebook and Google are extending their bans on political ads to prevent confusion about the election, the Financial Times reported Wednesday.

Why it matters: While tech companies are trying to limit post-election misinformation, hundreds of millions of dollars are about to pour into Georgia, now that control of the Senate — and the fate of the next president's agenda — hinges on runoffs for now one, but both of the state's seats, set for Jan. 5.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
4 hours ago - Health

Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has picked former FDA chief David Kessler to lead Operation Warp Speed, a day after unveiling a nearly $2 trillion pandemic relief plan that includes $400 billion for directly combatting the virus.

Why it matters: Biden's transition team said Kessler has been advising the president-elect since the beginning of the pandemic, and hopes his involvement will help accelerate vaccination, the New York Times reports. Operation Warp Speed's current director, Moncef Slaoui, will stay on as a consultant.

The case of the missing relief money

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A chunk of stimulus payments is missing in action, thanks to a mix up that put as many as 13 million checks into invalid bank accounts.

Why it matters: The IRS (by law) was supposed to get all payments out by Friday. Now the onus could shift to Americans to claim the money on their tax refund — further delaying relief to struggling, lower-income Americans.