ByteDance may shut down TikTok instead of selling it to avoid a U.S. ban: Report

For ByteDance, TikTok’s Chinese parent, it makes more sense to shut down TikTok than sell it to another company, Reuters reported

Updated - April 26, 2024 12:23 pm IST

Published - April 26, 2024 11:53 am IST

Tiktok had around 150 million users in America last year [File]

Tiktok had around 150 million users in America last year [File] | Photo Credit: AP

ByteDance, the Chinese parent of the viral short video app TikTok, may choose to shut down the app rather than sell it after U.S. President Joe Biden signed a bill this week forcing it to give up ownership in the next nine to 12 months, reported Reuters on Friday, citing multiple anonymous sources.

ByteDance posted a statement on the Toutiao media platform on Thursday, saying that it did not plan to sell TikTok. ByteDance was responding to a media story which reported that it had plans to sell.

While TikTok means to fight the motion legally and a true ban could take years to come into effect, the sources suggested that it would make more sense for ByteDance to shut down the app that is not a major part of its operations, per Reuters.

TikTok’s highly engaging video feed is powered by algorithms that are crucial for ByteDance’s business model, so selling off the app in its original form would be highly difficult, according to the sources.

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A sale is also likely to be complex due to U.S.-China tensions that have spilled over into trade relations and tech exchanges between the two countries.

Biden signed the bill forcing ByteDance to divest ownership of TikTok, along with a foreign security aid package to Ukraine, Taiwan, and Israel.

TikTok recorded 150 million users in America last year and is a source of income for many content creators, influencers, and small businesses.

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