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One of the world’s fastest-growing apps, TikTok could usher in an era where Asia – not Silicon Valley – leads the tech industry. That change could be transformative.

For more than 30 years, a small parcel of land covering about 45 square miles (116sqkm) has had an outsized impact on the way we work, live and play.

California’s Silicon Valley shapes our lives. From the websites where we do our household shopping to the video-streaming services we watch to the companies which provide our email, almost all are based in this corner of the United States.

Until recently, that is. The rise of TikTok, an app whose parent company is the Chinese firm ByteDance, has struck at the heart of Silicon Valley’s supremacy. Along with other digital products coming out of China, TikTok has the potential to reshape the future of technology – a future in which the culture, and the interests, of Shanghai or Beijing could mould the industry more than that of San Francisco Bay.

It’s hard to overstate just how much of a switch this is.

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