TikTok may just exit the US market

  • Faced with a choice of selling or leaving the US, ByteDance may just pick the latter.
  • A Reuters report citing four sources suggests that TikTok is too valuable to sell to another entity.
  • ByteDance has until 19th January to decide on which course of action it will take.

This week US President Joe Biden signed a bill into law that would compel ByteDance to either sell TikTok – assumedly to a US entity – or face a ban in the US. Today, a report citing four sources at ByteDance from Reuters suggests that ByteDance may just leave the US market.

Adding further credence to the sources, a post on Chinese news platform Toutiao from ByteDance states that the firm has no intention to sell. The firm will of course challenge the law on a legal basis before pulling out of the region but it seems that if all else fails, ByteDance would rather just, leave.

That is a bold statement considering that as many as 170 million Americans, including politicians use the platform. Aside from the users, 25 percent of TikTok’s revenue is said to come from the US so the fact that it’s reportedly toying with the idea of leaving that behind is a major decision.

Users have reacted to the news of a potential ban with disdain for their lawmakers. As for what happens if TikTok leaves, we suspect many will move to Meta’s Reels or YouTube’s Shorts. There is talk of Twitter X reviving Vine but to that we say, “Stop! Stop! He’s Already Dead!”.


Dear every US politician, congrats on passing a bill that completely violates our constitutional right to free speech and free press (yes… even when foreign adversaries are involved). #tiktokban

♬ original sound – haleyybaylee

But as Reuters points out, the US is leaving it with little choice. ByteDance can’t just unbake its algorithm so that another entity can take control of TikTok. This technology is also reportedly shared with other ByteDance products such as Douyin.

Selling TikTok then would be a direct threat to ByteDance’s business operations and would inevitably wind up doing more damage to the firm than abandoning a single market would.

With that having been said however, the US is a rather commanding entity on TikTok. Some of the top creators are predominantly on the platform or made their initial success there. However, not having to compete with the behemoth could give creators in other regions a chance to excel.

This law is definitely causing a shake-up at ByteDance no matter which route it picks. The US and UK have both served as testing grounds for features, the US is also one of the few regions where creators on TikTok can earn a living through an advertising revenue share programme rather than just the Creator Fund.

ByteDance has until 19th January 2025 to make a call on whether it will sell TikTok or leave the US market. Expect many more rumours and speculation before then.


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