Empowering the Freelance Economy

Potential US TikTok ban could hurt UK freelancers

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew issued a response - in the form of a TikTok clip - after the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass legislature that could ban the platform in the United States.
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In a bid to fight a proposed US law that could force the sale or US market ban, TikTok is deploying its most relatable weapon onto Washington: influencers

There are reports that the popular social media app has been flying in influencers to lobby Congress in Washington D.C. to unite and urge lawmakers to reject the fast-moving bill. This comes alongside efforts being made by TikTok’s professional lobbyists.

The Associated Press reported that the House on Wednesday approved a bill requiring the 100% Beijing-owned company ByteDance to sell its subsidiary TikTok or face a nationwide ban. Nothing has been decided on whether the bill will ever become law, however, lawmakers are voicing their fears that the social media platform could expose Americans to Beijing’s malign influences and data security risks. There have been reports that TikTok algorithms were created, via China, to influence, misinform and repeatedly feed unsuspecting users with fake news when it came to US elections and their candidates. See MSNBC video below.

However, the next uphill climb will be who will be willing to buy TikTok and what influence could the US government have on the company going forward even with a US owner.

CNN reported: “The TikTok US segment alone, with its 170 million users, would be valued at roughly $100 billion, according to Wedbush analyst Dan Ives.

“If a sale were to happen, “TikTok’s strategic value and consumer platform will have a number of financial and tech strategic players interested,” Ives said in a note Wednesday.

Private equity firms with big bucks and debt funds willing to back them could also be in the running.

US influencers worried about losing their livelihoods

US-based influencers are rounding up in Washington D.C. like Summer Lucille, a TikTok content creator with a plus-size women’s clothing business. Lucille generates followers and business leads through her TiikTok account, which has had a “positive impact on her life”. She spoke of the implications of a US TikTok ban in an interview with CNN’s John Berman. Lucille became a business owner and influencer following the loss of her mother and a layoff from her corporate job.

On Lucille’s Facebook account, she posted:

Biden just had 50 Tiktok influencers in the Whitehouse 2 weeks ago helping him create his Tiktok. This week he trying to ban it. This country is a joke.

The CEO of TikTok has said that a US ban on the platform “would take billions of dollars out of the pockets of creators and small businesses”.

However, some US TikTok influencers are using the latest legal TikTik tango as a means to generate humorous posts, like the one below.

How could a US TikTok ban impact UK influencers?

A potential TikTok ban in the US is unlikely to directly affect UK influencers in terms of access to the platform itself. Since the UK has its own app store and regulations, a US ban wouldn’t necessarily translate to the UK. However, there could still be some indirect impacts:

  • Reduced brand deals: US brands relying heavily on TikTok marketing might shift their focus to other platforms, leading to fewer influencer opportunities for UK creators.
  • Shifting trends: If TikTok becomes less prominent globally due to the US ban, influencer marketing trends might adapt towards other platforms like Instagram Reels or YouTube Shorts. UK influencers who aren’t active on these alternatives might need to adjust their strategies.
  • Content diversification: The potential US ban could be a wake-up call for UK influencers to diversify their audience across multiple platforms. This would make them less reliant on a single platform for their income and success.

Overall, the impact on UK influencers would likely be milder compared to their US counterparts. However, it’s a good idea for them to stay updated on the situation and consider diversifying their content and audience reach.

Ranking member of the House Select Committee Investigating the Chinese Communist Party, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Il., spoke to hosts of the American morning political show Morning Joe to discuss the House’s passing of a bill that would ban TikTok in US app stores if the popular app does not divest from its Chinese parent company ByteDance.

Talking points: drop your comments below 👇🏽

🪘Cybersecurity contractors and consultants: do US lawmakers and government policymakers have a point? Does TikTok pose a threat to US security and if so, how?

🪘Social media specialists and freelancers who use TikTok to promote their business: how could this ban impact your livelihood?

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