Splainer

Friday, July 31 2020


Dive In

You tell people that your dog was positive, and they look at you [as if you have] ten heads. [Buddy] was the love of our lives….He brought joy to everybody. I can’t wrap my head around it.

That’s the owner of a German Shepherd, which was the first dog to be diagnosed of Covid-19 in the United States. He died earlier this month. Buddy caught the disease back in April from his owner, and was expected to make a full recovery. Point to note: He also had lymphoma that remained undetected until the very end. So it’s unclear whether the virus or the cancer was the cause of death. Illustration: Parth Savla.

Big Story

TikTok is having a giant identity crisis

The TLDR: TikTok is having an exceptionally bad week. Japan is considering banning the app. Trump once again threatened to do the same—and US lawmakers are calling for an investigation. The latest: it is being sued for patent violations by a rival app. We look at TikTok’s desperate scramble to free itself from the giant albatross on its neck: that pesky ‘Made in China’ label. 

 

First, tell me who owns TikTok

  • A $140 billion Chinese company called ByteDance whose CEO Zhang Yiming is a former Microsoft engineer. 
  • In 2016, Zhang introduced a video sharing app, Douyin, for the Chinese market. 
  • In 2017, he launched an overseas equivalent dubbed TikTok—and acquired a similar app Musical.ly the same year. 
  • In 2018, He then folded both together and relaunched the avatar we all now know and love. 
  • TikTok has since become a global powerhouse spreading across 150 markets worldwide, offered in 75 languages. 
  • Its projected revenue for 2020 is $1 billion—which is expected to grow to $6 billion next year! 

 

Then again, maybe not...

 

Because of this ‘made in China’ problem?

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In today’s edition

Headlines That Matter

  • Trump stirs big election row
  • China’s cheating at the border
  • Indian H-1B workers are giving up on the American dream
  • A silent epidemic of lead poisoning
  • Russia may roll out its vaccine as early as August 10!

 

Smart And Curious

  • Meet Fluffy, the robotic dog that patrols a Ford factory
  • Are braces a giant dental scam?
  • Is it time to say goodbye to jeans?
  • Why are Bangladeshis indifferent to Partition?

 

Life Advisory

  • So you’re a Michelle fangirl…
  • So you wanna be lazy & creative…
  • So you wanna cook & have some fun…
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