The Chinese content farms behind Factory TikTok

Screenshot 2021-06-29 204547

It’s hard to describe Factory TikTok as just one type of video, but each clip — in its own way — offers a strange glimpse into how mundane objects are made. It can be hypnotizing to peer into this industrial world, which is usually obfuscated by complex supply chains. Some of the most popular accounts are run by aggregators, which rip off videos originally posted elsewhere to artificially boost their own views and follower counts. A handful of factory accounts are also from disparate parts of the world, like Pakistan, the Philippines, and Turkey. But the more time I spent watching, the clearer it became that many of the trend’s most popular clips were filmed in Chinese factories.