TikTok is a Chinese video-sharing social networking service owned by ByteDance, a Beijing-based internet technology company founded in 2012 by Zhang Yiming. It is used to create short dance, lip-sync, comedy, and talent videos. ByteDance first launched Douyin for the China market in September 2016. Later, TikTok was launched in 2017 for iOS and Android in markets outside of China. It became available in the United States after merging with Musical.ly on 2 August 2018. TikTok and Douyin are similar to each other but run on separate servers to comply with Chinese censorship restrictions. The application allows users to create short music and lip-sync videos of 3 to 15 seconds and short looping videos of 3 to 60 seconds. They also have global offices including Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore, Jakarta, Seoul, and Tokyo. The app is popular in East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the United States, Turkey, Russia, and other parts of the world. TikTok and Douyin's servers are each based in the markets where the apps are available.
After merging with Musical.ly in August, downloads rose and TikTok became the most downloaded app in the US in October 2018, the first Chinese app to achieve this. As of 2018, it was available in over 150 markets and in 75 languages. In February 2019, TikTok, together with Douyin, hit one billion downloads globally, excluding Android installs in China. In 2019, media outlets cited TikTok as the 7th-most-downloaded mobile app of the decade, from 2010 to 2019. It was also the most-downloaded app on the App Store in 2018 and 2019.