House of Representatives Approves TikTok Ban


On March 13, the House of Representatives passed a landmark bill that could see TikTok banned in the US. The bill passed overwhelmingly in a bipartisan vote, giving the social media giant’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance, six months to sell its controlling stake in the app. 

If no sale took place, the bill would block Google and Apple from offering TikTok in their respective app stores. It would also prevent any new updates, making the app difficult to use. 

The bill still requires the Senate’s clearing and President Joe Biden’s signing off to become law. 

TikTok is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance. US Lawmakers have long held concerns about China’s influence over the short-form video social media app. Mike Gallagher, who co-authored the bill, said the US could not “take the risk of having a dominant news platform in America controlled or owned by a company that is beholden to the Chinese Communist Party.” 

What Would a TikTok Ban Mean to Small Businesses? 

A study compiled by Oxford Economics on the economic impact generated by US small and mid-sized businesses on TikTok found that nearly 40% of SMBs say the social media app is critical to their existence. Banning TikTok in the US is, therefore, likely to disrupt the ecosystem for creators and small businesses, which have built up marketing strategies and followers, not only on TikTok’s short-form videos but also on the TikTok Shop. The app’s ECommerce platform was rolled out in the US in September 2023. Being the second primary shopping destination for young consumers behind Instagram, losing access to the TikTok Shop is likely to prove detrimental to small businesses that rely on it as a revenue avenue. 

While other social media platforms, such as Instagram and YouTube, are crucial in driving engagement for small businesses, the potential loss of TikTok is creating anxiety among the small business community. 

“It’s disappointing that this is the one thing our lawmakers can agree on. It’s disappointing for small businesses,” said Jade Beguelin, who co-founder of skincare brand 4am Skin.

Image: Depositphotos






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