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China tech

TikTok secretly paid influencers to boost content in Japan

Practice may run afoul of industry rules against stealth marketing

TikTok gained a large following in Japan after its 2017 debut in that market.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- The Japanese operator of the popular video-sharing app TikTok has admitted it posted videos on Twitter without informing the audience about the sponsored content, a practice that may have violated industry guidelines against stealth marketing.

This arrangement started about two years ago and stopped at the end of 2021, the Japanese subsidiary of TikTok owner ByteDance said on Monday. It added that it regretted giving consumers the wrong impression.

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