A US TikTok ban could take a bite out of small businesses

Topic: A US TikTok ban could take a bite out of small businesses

Without the popular social media platform, some creators and small enterprises across the globe could see their revenue plummet.

On 24 April, the US Senate passed legislation to ban TikTok, the popular social media app. Hours later, President Biden signed the bill into law. It requires TikTok’s parent company ByteDance to sell the app to non-Chinese owners or face a blanket ban in the US. The decision now faces a complicated and uphill legal battle.

Many devoted fans of the social media platform in the US – more than 150 million users – may see their favourite leisure activity disappear. Yet some of the people who stand to feel most impacted are the creators and small businesses on TikTok that make money through the platform, whether on the side or full-time.

According to March 2024 data from TikTok, more than seven million small US businesses use TikTok, and the company reported it drove $15bn (£12.04bn) in revenue for these enterprises in 2023.

The platform is also a major global economic force: in January, TikTok reported small- and medium-sized enterprises on the platform contributed €4.8bn ($5.14bn; £4.12bn) to the GDP of Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands and Belgium in 2023 alone.

Now, facing a TikTok ban, American entrepreneurs are worried about their revenue streams. So too are global businesses that rely on US audiences to buy their products and engage with their content. There may be alternatives, but finding a suitable substitute could be an uphill battle.

Topic: A US TikTok ban could take a bite out of small businesses

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