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Doja Cat performs in Los Angeles last year. Photo: Scott Dudelson/Getty Images

TikTok has vaulted another song to the top of the Billboard charts as Doja Cat's "Say So," assisted by a new remix featuring Nicki Minaj, hit No. 1 this week.

Why it matters: It's the latest in a string of songs to find viral success on the app — this time, fueled by a viral dance created by 17-year-old Haley Sharpe — before breaking through to become the most commercially successful song in the country.

  • It joins Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road" and Arizona Zervas' "Roxanne" among the songs that made the jump from TikTok to the upper echelons of the Billboard charts.
  • The decision to have Minaj appear parrots the strategy used by Lil Nas X and Billie Eilish during their battle for the top chart position last year — using the continued buzz to refresh and rehype content.
  • Minaj, despite all her star power, hadn't had a No. 1 hit in her 108 Billboard chart appearances before attaching herself to "Say So" — by far the longest wait for a No. 1 hit in history.

The state of play: The song shows how key a choreographed dance can be vital to sustained success on TikTok — and eventually to a wider audience.

The bottom line: The continued success of "Say So" shows how Generation Z can still be a few months ahead of the music industry's best A&R people — as it rapidly evolves to try to adapt to this new viral paradigm.

Go deeper

Aug 7, 2020 - Technology

TikTok responds to Trump executive order: "We are shocked"

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

TikTok said Friday that it was "shocked" by President Trump's executive order that will ban Americans from dealing with ByteDance, its China-based owner, in 45 days.

Why it matters: TikTok argued that Trump's move "risks undermining global businesses' trust in the United States' commitment to the rule of law, which has served as a magnet for investment and spurred decades of American economic growth."

Trump issues order banning TikTok if not sold within 45 days

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Americans and U.S. companies will be banned from making transactions with ByteDance, the Chinese owner of TikTok, in 45 days, according to a new executive order President Trump issued Thursday evening.

The big picture: Last week Trump announced his intention to ban TikTok but said he'd leave a 45-day period for Microsoft or other U.S.-based suitors to try to close a deal to acquire the popular video-sharing app.

Trump's TikTok and WeChat actions ratchet up the pressure on China

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump escalated his campaign to claw apart the Chinese and American tech worlds Thursday evening, issuing executive orders that threaten to ban both TikTok and massive global messaging app WeChat.

The big picture: Trump's orders come against a backdrop of heightening tension with China, the steady unfolding of a hard "decoupling" between the world's two largest economies, and the Trump campaign's effort to wave a "tough on China" banner.