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China linked apps
© Piyamas Dulmunsumphun |
Security & privacy

Do you use these popular apps with ties to China?

While the U.S. government is busy contemplating a ban on TikTok, another popular app has flown under the radar. Turbo VPN has been downloaded over 100 million times — and has had multiple Chinese nationals as directors.

Virtual Private Networks are used to browse the internet anonymously. They act as a layer of protection, disguising your location and preventing sites from tracking you.

But a new report from the Washington Post shows that some VPNs are based in China or are controlled by Chinese nationals. Why does this matter? Under Chinese law, tech companies must turn over the data they collect to government authorities.

If you don’t know where your VPN comes from, you’re not actually browsing anonymously. In the case of Turbo VPN, there’s no way to prove who the real owners are or where they’re located. This lack of transparency is certainly concerning.

By the way, if you need a VPN: ExpressVPN is a sponsor of my national radio show and they’re headquartered right here in the U.S. Use my link,, to get three extra months for free.

More than just VPNs

Another Chinese-owned app, Lemon8, has risen to the top 10 most downloaded here in the U.S. This app is a lookalike of TikTok and … surprise! It’s owned by ByteDance, the same company that owns TikTok.

Here’s the dark side behind the fun challenges and cute dance videos on TikTok.

These apps are enticing — especially to kids — but it’s important to consider the potential risks. Social media clout just isn’t worth your security.

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