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The TikTok Saga Continues

2 MINUTE READ | August 10, 2020

The TikTok Saga Continues

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Abby Long

Abby is PMG’s senior managing editor, where she leads the company’s editorial program and manages the PMG Blog and Insights Hub. As a writer, editor, and marketing communications strategist with nearly a decade of experience, Abby's work in showcasing PMG’s unique expertise through POVs, research reports, and thought leadership regularly informs business strategy and media investments for some of the most iconic brands in the world. Named among the AAF Dallas 32 Under 32, her expertise in advertising, media strategy, and consumer trends has been featured in Ad Age, Business Insider, and Digiday.

Growing US-China trade tensions are quickly spilling into the internet economy. On Thursday, President Trump signed two executive orders banning Americans and US companies from transacting with ByteDance’s TikTok and Tencent’s WeChat in 45 days (September 20th). The executive orders were vaguely worded, though a White House official has clarified that the executive order concerning WeChat only blocks transactions related to WeChat, not those involving other Tencent holdings

The TikTok executive order effectively formalizes the September 15th deadline the Administration gave Microsoft and other companies pursuing an acquisition of TikTok’s US business. Despite the assumed hefty price tag, many companies are apparently in talks about acquiring TikTok in the US, including several investment and technology firms. After the recent executive orders banning the app by mid-September, the app is planning to sue the Trump administration. Meanwhile, the US Senate voted to ban TikTok on all government-issued devices.

Hot Take: From CNBC, why Netflix should buy TikTok

A refresher, from The Information, “the Trump administration views TikTok as a national security threat due to concerns that the app could be used by Beijing to collect American users’ data and to launch misinformation campaigns. ByteDance has repeatedly denied such allegations. In the statement, TikTok said the Administration is making its decision based on unsubstantiated fears instead of facts.”

Related: Bill Gates talks TikTok and more with Wired

Over the weekend, The Wall Street Journal reported that Twitter held preliminary talks about a potential combination with TikTok. But the deal is seen as a longshot compared to Microsoft’s financial firepower. 

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Advertisers aren’t rushing to cancel spend on TikTok despite the pressure from the White House. Experts agree that despite whatever happens with TikTok, consumer preferences can’t be banned, which is likely why Instagram Reels and Triller have burst onto the scene and are fighting for market share.

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