Social media app TikTok has joined telecoms industry trade body GSMA, and the firms will ‘work together on initiatives that benefit the entire mobile ecosystem."

Andrew Wooden

November 17, 2022

2 Min Read
tiktok logo

Social media app TikTok has joined telecoms industry trade body the GSMA, and we are told the firms will ‘work together on initiatives that benefit the entire mobile ecosystem.”

TikTok has joined the GSMA – international telecoms trade body and organiser of the MWC conference –  as an industry member, and says as it intends to ‘work with our industry partners to advocate the development of new mobile communication technologies and form lasting business relationships in our global community.’

The app, owned by Chinese firm ByteDance, says it will be sharing its knowledge, providing industry insights, and supporting innovative initiatives ‘that will benefit everyone in the telecommunications ecosystem.’

“With its powerful influence on culture and massive monthly user base of over one billion, TikTok has captured the world’s attention over the past few years,” said Lara Dewar, Chief Marketing Officer, GSMA. “We’re excited to welcome TikTok as an industry member to work together on initiatives that benefit the entire mobile ecosystem.”

David Saidden, Director of Distribution Partnerships at TikTok added: “TikTok’s mission is to inspire creativity and bring joy. “In partnership with hundreds of telcos around the world, we’ve made it easier, cheaper and faster for our users and partners to create, share and engage with our amazing video platform. As part of the GSMA community, we’re excited to expand on these successes, amplifying innovation in the 5G space, streamlining delivery through CDN and Edge infrastructure, and pioneering new modes of connectivity in evolving markets.”

All of which sounds like bafflingly lofty ambitions for an app which is primarily used to distribute videos of teenagers cringingly lip-synching to pop songs, but there you go.

Welcoming TikTok into the GSMA club, whatever that ends up meaning in tangible terms, is notable since it seems to run counter to the mood in Westminster and Washington, which have taken a decidedly cooler position towards the Chinese owned app.

In August the UK parliament closed its TikTok account one week after opening it as MPs raised security concerns. In a letter, MPs including Nusrat Ghani, Sir Ian Duncan Smith and Tom Tugendhat pointed to the restrictions imposed by the US government in 2020 and additional call to review security in light of “additional vulnerabilities”.  It also highlighted the 2017 PRC Intelligence Security law which requires Chinese companies to yield data to the Chinese if requested with no obligation to reveal when this has taken place.

In June, three years after the US first expressed fears about TikTok, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr wrote to Google and Apple, asking them to remove the TikTok app from their respective app stores. Citing fears that China-based employees of parent company ByteDance have accessed non-public data about US users, Carr concluded that ‘TikTok poses an unacceptable national security risk’.


Get the latest news straight to your inbox. Register for the newsletter here.


About the Author(s)

Andrew Wooden

Andrew joins on the back of an extensive career in tech journalism and content strategy.

You May Also Like