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Framing the TikTok ‘war’ in the New York Times, Times of India & China Daily
  • Lok Yiu Carly Yung
Lok Yiu Carly Yung
University of Sussex

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Chinese digital enterprises e.g., Baidu, Alibaba and ByteDance (known for Toutiao and TikTok) contribute greatly to the expansion of China’s global presence and influence as a digital powerhouse, adding a ‘social’ dimension to China’s soft power (Yu, 2019). China’s latest tool for cultivating soft power, TikTok, has been attracting much attention.
Unlike most research on social media as a country’s soft power toolkit, this research looks at TikTok not for its contents or the range of actors in communicating with foreign audiences; but rather as a technological company subjected to a ban in India and a potential ban in the US. To understand how the Sino-Indian and Sino-US disputes about TikTok are framed in news coverage and its potential relevance to China’s growing digital capabilities, the research conducts inductive frame analysis on TikTok dispute news coverage in leading national papers in the US (The New York Times), India (The Times of India) and in China’s global English language news outlet China Daily.