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Short video platform TikTok backed by Chinese company ByteDance rose to super fame in a short span. The fame did not last long as the company was accused of giving sensitive information to the Chinese government. As a result, many nations including America, India, Canada, and others banned the app citing security reasons.
Now TikTok is facing strong allegations of being the reason behind the flood of car thefts. It is said that thousands of cars were stolen and a Tiktok video is believed to be the reason behind this. The authorities swung into action and removed the video, but that did not pay off.
As per the local American media, a viral TikTok challenge, which goes by the name Kia Challenge is linked to the theft. In 2022, a user uploaded a video on TikTok showing how certain models of Kia and Hyundai companies are vulnerable and can be opened using a USB connector.
The video became popular and gave an idea to youngsters on how to steal Kia and Hyundai cars. It is said that the robberies increased massively due to the video. The trick is also believed to have resulted in four deaths.
While the robberies started seeing a jump in 2020, they increased further the next year. The popularity of the TikTok trend is that even youngsters, who are in their teens are also robbing cars. Such incidents are on a rise in Chicago and Los Angeles. While the thefts increased by 85% in Los Angeles, the same went up by around nine fields in Chicago.
The trend has spread to Australia where a few vehicles were damaged. Seeing this, the insurance companies have reportedly stopped giving insurance to models which can be compromised. The car manufacturer companies started providing anti-theft software.
The video was taken down one month after it was posted on TikTok. In just one month, it was spared like wildfire and many users started robbing the cars. We can understand the seriousness of the issue as youngsters were caught trying to steal the car. There is a dedicated Wikipedia page for Kia Challenge to say how the trend started and spread its wings.