Foundering is an award-winning, serialized podcast from the journalists at Bloomberg Technology. Each season, Foundering brings you inside a different high-stakes drama from the technology industry, where its companies are wielding unprecedented capital and power.
TikTok Part 6: The Showdown
In the summer of 2020, amid a pandemic, historic unemployment and racial unrest, President Donald Trump developed a bizarre obsession with TikTok. In this episode, reporter Shelly Banjo and her colleagues take you aboard Air Force One and into the surreal tit-for-tat fight between TikTok and one of the most powerful men in the world.
Updated May 27, 2021 to reflect ByteDance CEO Zhang Yiming's decision to step down.
TikTok Part 5: Should We Be Worried About Our Data?
After Donald Trump is elected president, tensions between the United States and China escalate. Several American politicians, security experts and even Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg turn their attention toward TikTok. In this episode, reporter Shelly Banjo looks into the fundamental question facing TikTok: What user data does TikTok collect, and can that information wind up in the hands of the Chinese government?
TikTok Part 4: Are The Kids All Right?
While TikTok is known primarily as a breeding ground for funny memes, dance routines and lip-synching videos, there’s a dark side to TikTok that starts with the young children who populate the app. In this episode, reporter Shelly Banjo looks into the consequences of TikTok’s failure to safeguard its adolescent user base. Warning: This episode contains difficult and disturbing reporting, including stories about the sexual exploitation of minors.
TikTok Part 3: ‘I’ll Be Making Bank! Hopefully.’
TikTok has redefined American pop culture and upended the music industry, advertising and the economics of fame. In this episode, reporter Shelly Banjo examines TikTok’s hands-on approach with its creators and artists, minting a new generation of social media stars and positioning TikTok’s parent company as the first Chinese tech giant to come out with a truly global consumer app.
TikTok Part 2: The Silent Force from China
TikTok is powered by sophisticated artificial intelligence that predicts what users want to see next. This technology was developed at ByteDance, TikTok’s Chinese parent company and the most valuable startup in the world. In this episode, reporter Shelly Banjo explains how ByteDance founder and CEO Zhang Yiming fundamentally changed how a generation consumes media on their phones.
TikTok Part 1: An Epiphany on a Train
Alex Zhu, a Chinese tech entrepreneur, was seated on a train in Silicon Valley across from a group of teenagers. He watched as the kids were listening to music and making videos on their phones, and he decided to create an app that combined the two cultural obsessions. The resulting platform would become the social media powerhouse now known as TikTok. In this episode, reporter Shelly Banjo explains the genesis of Gen Z’s favorite app.
So glad I found this podcast. Completely addictive
Just listened to the We Work podcasts and its excellent! No over the top hyperbole, just a brilliant story, well told :-)
I wasn’t an avid follower of every news item on We Work, but this podcast series is phenomenal. I have listened to the first six episodes (which is all that have been published at the time of my review) and I’m hooked. I am counting down the days until the next episode is released. It’s a fascinating account of a man who argued that he would avoid the pitfalls of others but then went on the same path of destruction. All credit to Ellen Huet and all at Bloomberg for this smashing series.