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TikTok, the international version of ByteDance's short video app, has, like telecom hardware maker Huawei, raised concerns internationally. But its "soft power" potential makes it unique. (Illustration by Nakako Shiotsuki)
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Asia's divide over TikTok: troubled in Tokyo, chilled in Manila

Reactions to security fears after US crackdown on app reflect relations with China

RURIKA IMAHASHI, GRACE LI and DYLAN LOH, Nikkei staff writers | Japan

TOKYO/HONG KONG/SINGAPORE -- For Saitama Prefecture, north of Tokyo, TikTok seemed a game-changer that could finally put it on the map.

The prefecture best known as a bedroom community for Tokyo commuters has long struggled to grab a piece of the spotlight from its giant, cosmopolitan neighbor. To improve its image with young people, local officials opened up a TikTok account and had famous people who were born in the prefecture sing its praises. The public relations push was a success, with many people checking out more than 20 videos from Saitama-loving celebs.

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