TikTok Bans Is The Main Reason Behind A Sudden Boom In VPN Service, But Will VPN Save The Internet?

TikTok after becoming insanely popular among varied nationalities around the world is now facing ban issues or threats by respective governments. But the situation still does not mean that people have stopped loving the Chinese entertainment app. Instead, to keep on making videos on the platform and earn, users are now taking help from virtual private networks and because of it the usage of VPNs has spiked in recent times.

If you are the unfortunate one who still doesn’t know about the magic of VPN then it allows a user to access any online service that they want by bypassing the app blocks and through an encrypted tunnel.

The sudden hike in VPNs usage was first confirmed by Harold Li, vice president of ExpressVPN, who thinks that it is the government who should be blamed for blocking the access to different kinds of information that people love.

Going by the stats, he was right as Express VPN’s traffic performance on a week-by-week basis increased by 10% after Trump and his administration decided to ban TikTok. The VPN service enjoyed similar success in Japan and Austalia as well with 19% and 41% WoW increase in traffic respectively after their governments went for the same route of banning the app.

In India, the Express VPN’s traffic rose up by 22% and when TikTok voluntarily pulled out because of the enactment of the national security law, the VPN service’s WoW growth spiked by 10% there as well.

However, this Isn’t A “Magic Bullet”

Looking at the history of VPN then such service has been a popular solution for people who cannot live with restrictions on the internet. A recent example is all of Hong Kong residents who immediately took help of VPN services following the anticipation regarding the rise in censorship.

But with all being shown and done, a Hong Kong media scholar warned the world about another potential problem associated with VPNs and that is governments still hold the right to remove such apps from the local app store to make it difficult for people to access VPNs. As a result, people would be bound to register in another regional app store and then deal with roadblocks like how the situation is in case of local credit cards. Furthermore, the similar governments will also have the choice to either impose a heavy fan on every VPN user or imprison them just like what China did.

The thing about ban culture is that we are never very sure about how an app block would play out and that then also leads to VPN having too many issues to deal with.


People are trying to find good alternatives to banned apps and even tech companies are trying their best to offer replacements (just like how Instagram has now launched Reels) but switching to other services can cost a lot, especially when the banned app has had a strong network effect. TikTok has enjoyed the similar “content network effect” which may now become impossible for any rival company to compete with.

Moving on from the TikTok ban, users are also going to have a hard time finding the right alternative to WeChat ban as well because the Chinese messenger app has over 1 billion users already. So, for all the Chinese living in the US, the app has been the only way to remain in touch with their loved ones back home since all the western social networks are unavailable in their homeland.

Although smaller apps have started to gain popularity in China like Signal - which has climbed 51 spots in the China rank of iOS apps to now 36th place, but this again will remain to be exclusive for iPhone users who can already communicate through iMessages with people living in the U.S.

Nevertheless, as Telegram founder Pavel Durov said this beautiful thing once and we agree that U.S banning TikTok is setting up a dangerous precedent that will result only in the killing of internet as a truly global network. If the world wants to stay connected more than ever, then individuals and businesses will have to fight for freedom on the internet against the governments.



Read next: Addison Rae, Charli D’Amelio, Dixie D’Amelio: These Are The 7 Highest-Earning TikTokers, According to Forbes

Hat Tip: Techcrunch.

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