Since the start of the pandemic, hate crimes against Asians and Pacific Islanders (API) in North America have increased, in some cases by triple-digit percentages. In 2020, API-owned businesses saw the biggest decline in working business owners. We want to take this time to celebrate API business owners and creators on TikTok and shine the spotlight on businesses that make impact our communities and in our lives.

As part of our celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, TikTok launched #SpotlightAPI to support API-owned small and medium-sized businesses across North America. For the next two months, #SpotlightAPI is highlighting API-owned small and medium businesses with high-visibility media placements, TikTok education, and community support. Since kicking off the campaign, videos with the hashtag #SpotlightAPI have been viewed more than 7 billion times, and API small business owners are benefitting.


#SpotlightAPI quick tutorial on how to make dumplings! I can do it and you (maybe) can 💪 do it! 😝#uniteddumplings #apihm #dumplings

♬ Moshi Moshi (Part 1) - Official Sound Studio

"We're proud to celebrate our Asian heritage by using the recipes we grew up with to make delicious food for people to enjoy," said Julia Zhu, co-owner of United Dumplings in San Francisco, CA. "TikTok's SpotlightAPI effort is helping small business owners across North America to reach people and thrive, and we're incredibly grateful to be a part of this cohort. It is truly amazing TikTok also provides coaches and classes for small businesses like us to engage with more people on its powerful digital platform, and we can already see the benefit of TikTok after being on the platform only for a short week!"

United Dumplings was one of six businesses to partner with an API TikTok Trailblazer and create videos that celebrate API heritage and the millions of API-owned SMBs across North America. In addition to these partnerships, TikTok is hosting an intimate workshop for API-owned small businesses to learn how to tap into the opportunities on the platform. In particular, participants will learn how to harness their creativity on TikTok, hear from API-owned advertising agencies on best advertising practices, and get a chance to ask TikTok leaders their burning questions. The workshops will also provide a safe space for those who want to voice their concerns over the increase in hate crimes against the API community and give business owners the opportunity to feel connected to one another.


Love your caffeine and local API business TOGETHER at @thankyou_coffee #SpotlightAPI #WeAreAPI #APIHM #AsianTikTok

♬ Chicken Lemon Rice (Instrumental) - Priya Ragu

Thank you to our brand partners for giving back to the API Community

As we close out AAPI Heritage Month, we want to reflect on and celebrate the work being done to support the API community. We would like to take the opportunity to thank the following companies for their incredible partnership during AAPI Heritage Month and support of our inaugural API TikTok Trailblazers: Baggu, BobbleHaus, Glow Recipe, Highsnobiety, Mount Lai, Omsom, Sony, Tower 28, U Beauty, and Youth to the People.


From our partners:

Highsnobiety is thrilled to collaborate with TikTok in recognizing and celebrating trailblazers in the Asian Pacific Islander community. As influential creators and cultural pioneers, these individuals impact their communities on and off the screen. We are honored to support these creators in amplifying the voices of the API community as they continue to positively impact today's youth. - Highsnobiety

We are honored to participate in TikTok's APIHM Community and Trailblazers program. I can't wait for everyone to experience these everyday rituals, inspired by my grandmother. She has been jade rolling and practicing gua sha for over 50 years! We are so grateful to TikTok for supporting AAPI businesses and voices. - Stephanie Zheng, Founder & CEO, Mount Lai

Tower 28 was built on the mission to be a clean, inclusive, and affordable makeup brand designed for sensitive skin and made for all. Since we launched two years ago, I've had people act surprised that the founder behind this beachy, LA beauty brand is Asian. One of my hopes with Tower 28 is that we can help widen people's perspectives and work to eliminate these types of stereotypes. We're excited to participate as a gifter for TikTok's APIHM Community and Trailblazers as one way to support a more diverse and inclusive representation in the beauty industry. - Amy Liu, Founder, Tower 28

Celebrate the API community every day

We are incredibly grateful for the contributions and support from our partners. To our API community: your presence and passion enrich TikTok every day - thank you! We continue to celebrate API culture this month and all year long. #WeAreAPI #AsianTikTok


✅out this API owned business that can serve a mean Local feed n give u a traditional LUAU #weareapi #apihm #SpotlightAPI

♬ Chicken Lemon Rice (Instrumental) - Priya Ragu