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TikTok在全球舞臺強勢崛起,但這也可能毀了它

  U.S. leaders have effectively kicked huawei and a number of Chinese technology monitoring companies out of the country, warning that installing chinese-made products in sensitive parts of the nation's electronic infrastructure poses a serious threat to national security and privacy.

  美國領導人已經實質上將華為和多家中國技術監控公司趕出了國門,并警告在國家電子基礎設施的敏感部分安裝中國制造的產品會對國家安全和隱私構成嚴重威脅。

  Now they are turning their worried attention to a new Chinese target: teenagers who sing and dance on TikTok.

  現在他們把擔憂的目光投向了一個新的中國目標:在TikTok上唱歌跳舞的青少年。

  The New York times and other media reported last week that a secret federal commission focused on national security was reviewing TikTok's acquisition two years ago by a Chinese company called bytedance. Three senators have called on the trump administration to review potential national security and privacy threats posed by the app, warning that bytedance could remove content deemed objectionable to the communist party, such as video, which supports pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

  《紐約時報》及其他媒體上周報道,一個關注國家安全的秘密聯邦委員會正在對兩年前名為字節跳動的中國公司收購TikTok一事進行審查。三名參議員要求特朗普政府對該應用構成的潛在國家安全和隱私威脅進行審查,警告稱字節跳動可能會刪除令共產黨不快的內容,比如支持香港民主抗議活動的視頻。

  TikTok denies censoring political content. The app can be found supporting protesters and declaring "restore Hong Kong!" In the video.

  TikTok否認會審查政治內容。該應用上可以找到支持抗議者和宣稱“光復香港!”的視頻。

  But TikTok -- which probably has the app on her phone if you're the parent of a teenager -- is gaining traction in a region where it hasn't been before. Its unexpected rise is forcing americans to consider for the first time living in a world influenced by chinese-backed social media networks.

  但TikTok——如果你是一個十來歲孩子的父母,她手機上很可能就有這款應用——卻在這個此前未曾涉足的地帶大受歡迎。它出人意料的崛起,正迫使美國人第一次考慮生活在一個由中國支持的社交媒體網絡影響的世界里。

  This has led the public to take a closer look at bytedance. It is not a branch of the communist party. Its success, however, owes much to its ability to navigate Beijing's political terrain and its knack for providing superficial entertainment that does not touch censorship.

  這使得公眾更仔細地審視字節跳動。它不是共產黨的分支機構。然而,它的成功在很大程度上歸功于它摸清北京政治走向的能力,以及提供不會觸動審查的膚淺娛樂的技巧。

  Indeed, zhang yiming, the company's founder, has echoed Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's assertion that he runs a technology company, not a media company. But that hasn't stopped Facebook from influencing events around the world, with far-reaching and disturbing consequences.

  事實上,該公司創始人張一鳴曾附和過Facebook創始人馬克·扎克伯格(Mark Zuckerberg)的說法,即他運營的是一家技術公司,不是媒體公司。但這并沒有阻止Facebook影響世界各地的事件,并產生了深遠而令人不安的后果。

  No Chinese technology company has been as successful on the global Internet as bytedance. Except among overseas Chinese, China's burgeoning social media platforms and wildly popular video apps have little impact elsewhere. At a time when some in Washington are trying to unravel the close economic ties between the United States and China, the two countries already live in separate worlds in cyberspace.

  沒有哪家中國科技公司像字節跳動這樣,能在全球互聯網上取得成功。除了在海外華人中間,中國蓬勃發展的社交媒體平臺和瘋狂傳播的視頻應用在其他地方幾乎沒有影響力。在華盛頓的一些人正試圖拆解美國與中國之間的緊密經濟聯系之際,兩國在網絡空間上已經生活在不同的世界。

  Yet even as the iron curtain of technology closed, TikTok emerged on the global Internet stage. TikTok has been downloaded nearly 1.5 billion times globally and 122 million times in the United States, according to data firm Sensor Tower.

  然而,就在科技鐵幕合上的同時,TikTok卻在全球互聯網舞臺上崛起。數據公司Sensor Tower數據顯示,TikTok在全球和美國分別有近15億次和1.22億次下載量。

  That makes some in Washington uneasy. In letters to us intelligence officials, senators Chuck Schumer and Tom Cotton said the TikTok platform was "a potential target for foreign influence activities, like those conducted on us-based social media platforms during the 2016 election".

  這讓華盛頓的一些人感到不安。在寫給美國情報官員的信中,參議員查克·舒默(Chuck Schumer)和湯姆·科頓(Tom Cotton)表示,TikTok平臺是“外國影響力活動的潛在目標,就像2016年大選期間在基于美國的社交媒體平臺上實施的那些活動一樣”。

  They and others pointed to recent articles claiming or suggesting that TikTok would delete the video of the Hong Kong protests.

  他們和其他人指出,最近有文章聲稱或暗示TikTok會刪除香港抗議活動的視頻。

  TikTok has rejected the allegations, saying it stores data on us users locally and "will not delete content on sensitive issues related to China".

  TikTok反駁了這些指控,稱其在當地存儲美國用戶的數據,并且“不會刪除中國相關敏感議題的內容”。

  The Chinese government has never asked us to remove any content, and if asked, we will not listen, the statement said. "That's it."

  “中國政府從未要求我們刪除任何內容,并且如果被要求,我們也不會聽從,”聲明稱。“就是這樣。”

  The statement did not include extensive government pressure on domestic media companies. Chinese officials don't typically delete content directly, but instead set broad guidelines for media companies and let them censor themselves.

  這份聲明未涵蓋中國政府對國內媒體公司的廣泛施壓。中國官員通常不會直接刪除內容,而是為媒體公司設定寬泛的準則,然后讓它們自行審查。

  TikTok sometimes avoids uncomfortable topics altogether. When the app is downloaded in Hong Kong, its user guidelines prohibit politically relevant content and comments.

  TikTok有時會完全回避令人不適的話題。在香港下載這款應用時,從它的用戶準則上可以看到禁止政治相關內容和評論的規定。

  After The Times raised questions, TikTok updated the guidelines, saying they should have been removed in May but reappeared due to errors. TikTok said its Hong Kong content review team was based partly in mainland China but was moving to Hong Kong and would follow the same rules the company had set elsewhere.

  在時報提出相關問題后,TikTok對該準則進行了更新,稱其本應在5月份撤下,卻因錯誤重新出現。TikTok表示,其香港內容審核團隊部分設在中國大陸但正在遷往香港,并將遵循公司在其他地方制定的相同規則。

  Even so, TikTok's critics have failed to produce evidence that Beijing is using TikTok to promote political propaganda to young people or to abuse user data. That may not help its prospects in the U.S. market: the U.S. government has never produced evidence that huawei's equipment poses a security threat, but its equipment is still largely out of the telecom network.

  即便如此,TikTok的批評者還未能拿出證據,表明北京正利用TikTok向年輕人進行政治宣傳,或在濫用用戶數據。這對它在美國市場的前景可能并無幫助:美國政府從未拿出證據表明華為的設備構成安全威脅,但它的設備依然已經基本上被逐出了電信網絡。

  Zuckerberg's company is busy copying TikTok, arguing that the chinese-owned app represents a competition of values.

  扎克伯格的公司正忙著模仿TikTok,他辯稱這款中國人擁有的應用代表了一種價值觀的競爭。

  Until recently, the Internet in almost every country except China has been defined by American platforms with strong values of free speech, he said in a recent Georgetown University speech, referring specifically to TikTok.

  “直到最近,除中國外幾乎所有國家的互聯網一直都被具有強烈的言論自由價值觀的美國平臺所定義,”他最近在喬治城大學(Georgetown University)的一次演講中特別提到TikTok時說道。

  Of course, his company has tried to develop software that allows potential Chinese partners to block content they don't like. But the comments touch on a broader truth: in order to do business on the Chinese Internet, any Chinese company must obey the government's will, whether it wants to or not.

  當然,他的公司曾經嘗試開發一種軟件,可以讓潛在的中國合作伙伴屏蔽他們不喜歡的內容。但這些言論觸及了一個更廣泛的事實:為了在中國互聯網上開展業務,中國的任何企業都必須遵守政府的意志,不管它愿意與否。

  Bytedance is no exception. Zhang yiming, 29, founded the company in 2012. As a programmer geek, zhang yiming said that the day he received the tetris handheld game console in second grade was the happiest day of his life. In college, he was famous for his skills in repairing computers.

  字節跳動也不例外。2012年,29歲的張一鳴創辦了這家公司。作為一個程序員極客,張一鳴說,小學二年級收到俄羅斯方塊掌上游戲機那天,是他一生中最快樂的日子。在大學里,他在修電腦方面的技術很出名。

  Some Chinese have compared him to zuckerberg. Like the Facebook boss, Mr. Zhang has said that machines are better at spreading content than people. Bytedance launched toutiao, a popular news aggregation app in China that replaced its chief editor with software. In most cases, it gives users a headline based on what they clicked on earlier.

  有些中國人把他比作扎克伯格。和這位Facebook當家人一樣,張一鳴也說過,在傳播內容方面,機器比人做得更好。字節跳動推出了今日頭條,這是一款在中國大受歡迎的新聞聚合應用,用軟件取代了主編。大多數情況下,它會根據用戶之前點擊的內容為他們提供新聞標題。

  I can't accurately judge whether it's good or bad, elegant or vulgar, zhang yiming told a Chinese business magazine in 2016. "I may have my judgment, but I don't want to impose my judgment on the headlines."

  “我不能準確判斷這個好還是壞,是高雅還是庸俗,”張一鳴在2016年接受一家中國商業雜志采訪時說。“我也許有我的判斷,但我不想強加我的判斷給頭條。”

  For many users, the system provides a steady stream of content based on what they've clicked on before: bikini photos, funny video, pet memes. Opposition soon emerged.

  對于很多用戶來說,這個系統會根據他們之前點擊過的內容提供一個穩定的內容流:比基尼照、搞笑視頻、寵物米姆。很快就出現了反對的聲音。

  Zhang yiming and his engineers are at the same time taming the machine to make it understand your heart better, wrote the blogger he jiayan. "Train you at the same time, make you more addicted to it."

  “張一鳴和他的工程師們,一邊馴化機器,讓它更懂你的心,”博主何加鹽寫道。“一邊馴化你,讓你更加沉迷于它。”

  TikTok and other bytedance apps have time management features that allow users and parents to set limits of 40, 60 or 120 minutes, a TikTok spokesman said.

  TikTok發言人說,該應用和其他字節跳動應用都有時間管理功能,允許用戶和家長設置40、60或120分鐘的限制。

  This algorithmically driven approach works well for bytedance. By the end of 2016, toutiao was the second-largest app in China, behind instant messaging app WeChat, in terms of how much time users spent on it each day, according to QuestMobile, a Chinese data company. Last year, the company raised a new round of funding from investors including SoftBank that valued it at $75 billion, making it one of the world's most valuable start-ups.

  這種算法驅動的方法對字節跳動來說效果上佳。根據中國數據公司QuestMobile的數據,到2016年底,按用戶每天花在上面的時間來計算,頭條成為中國第二大應用,僅次于即時通訊應用微信。去年,該公司從軟銀(SoftBank)等投資者那里獲得了新一輪融資,估值達到750億美元,成為世界上最有價值的初創企業之一。

  Toutiao also attracted the attention of lu wei, a high-ranking official who ruled China's Internet with an iron fist at the time, some industry executives said. When other Internet companies complained about headlines stealing their content, one of Mr. Lu's top aides told them that he liked headlines and that they should stop complaining and work with them. The executives spoke on the condition of anonymity because publicly discussing the work of China's censors would amount to corporate suicide.

  一些業內高管表示,今日頭條也吸引了當時用鐵腕統治著中國互聯網的高官魯煒的注意。其他互聯網公司抱怨頭條竊取他們的內容時,魯煒的一位高級助手告訴他們,他喜歡頭條,他們應該停止抱怨,與頭條合作。由于公開討論中國審查機構的工作無異于企業的自殺,這些高管要求匿名。

  Bytedance denies it has a relationship with or benefited from Mr. Lu. Lu wei resigned in mid-2016 and was sentenced to 14 years in prison this year for corruption.

  字節跳動否認與魯煒有密切關系,也否認從魯煒那里獲得了好處。魯煒于2016年年中辭職,今年因腐敗被判處14年有期徒刑。

  Since then, the company has also run into trouble with censors. Bytedance and other star start-ups were punished in April 2018 for running "unhealthy" content. The company was ordered to shut down an app called "inside jokes" because of its vulgar jokes and video.

  之后,該公司也招惹了審查機構。2018年4月,字節跳動和其他一些明星初創企業因運營“不健康”內容而受到懲罰。該公司被勒令關閉一款名為“內涵段子”的應用程序,原因是其中有粗俗的笑話和視頻。

  Mr. Zhang apologized, saying in a letter that he took responsibility for content that didn't conform to 'core socialist values.' He vowed to strengthen bytedance's party-building efforts and announced plans to strengthen the role of chief editor and expand its content review team from 6,000 to 10,000. Like other online media outlets, toutiao has begun to top stories about Chinese leader xi jinping.

  張一鳴表示道歉,在一封信中說,他對不符合“社會主義核心價值觀”的內容負責。他發誓要加強字節跳動的黨建工作,并宣布加強主編的作用,把內容審核團隊從6000人擴大到1萬人。和其他網絡媒體一樣,今日頭條也開始把關于中國領導人習近平的報道置頂。

  His apology seems to have worked. Less than two weeks later, he delivered the keynote address at a technology conference hosted by the Internet regulator: bytedance's global expansion strategy.

  他的道歉似乎取得了不錯的成效。不到兩周,他就在互聯網監管機構主辦的一次科技大會上發表了主題演講,題目是:字節跳動的全球擴張戰略。

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