chinese app TikTok, the most downloaded app in the U.S. in October 2018, is hastily expanding its U.S. operations and is doing so by paying salaries up to 20 percent higher than the industry norm.

TikTok has taken a particular liking to former employees of Facebook. More than two dozen of its new hires (out of its current workforce of more than 500 persons) are former Facebook people it either hired or poached since last year.

As if to drive home its weird connection to Facebook, TikTok recently moved into an office in mountain View, california previously occupied by WhatsApp, Facebook’s messaging app. Its headquarters, however, is located in Culver City.

A subsidiary of ByteDance, TikTok was established only in 2017 as, basically, ByteDance outside china. TikTok is an iOS and Android social media video app that creates and shares short lip-sync, comedy, and talent videos. It allows users to create short videos ranging from 3 to 15 seconds and short looping videos from 3 to 60 seconds in length.

In 2018, TikTok became the most downloaded app in the U.S. Last February, TikTok hit one billion global downloads, excluding Android installs in China.

TikTok keeps posting numerous job listings for positions in the San Francisco Bay Area. It offers salaries comparable or even 20 percent higher than Facebook’s.

Analysts said TikTok is interested in hiring experienced employees from competitors as a short cut to immediate efficiency. It relies on these experienced people to fix the many problems arising from high-growth technologies such as TikTok’s short music and lip-sync videos.

Apart from Facebook, TikTok has poached more people from other tech companies such as Apple, Amazon, Youtube, Snap and Hulu, according to sources cited by media. Tiktok will open another California office in Culver City that can house 1,000 employees.

Facebook realizes the threat posed by TikTok and its ex-Facebook employees.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently said Facebook will compete against TikTok by beating it in countries such as Mexico where it has yet to gain traction.

“TikTok … is really the first consumer internet product built by one of the Chinese tech giants that is doing quite well around the world,” said Zuckerberg. “It’s starting to do well in the U.S., especially with young folks.”

China's TikTok Moves To Silicon Valley, Poaches Facebook Employees The logo of the application TikTok. photo: JOEL SAGET/Getty images