The ban on Chinese short video app, TikTok is now feeling like a business transaction for U.S. President Donald Trump. According to a Reuters report, President Trump said that “any deal to sell Chinese-owned social media app TikTok to an American company must “substantially” benefit the United States and provide total security”. The “substantially benefit” the U.S. part is a bit confusing. Why should the sale of TikTok benefit the U.S.? Does it really matter? This is supposed to be about an American company taking over thereby eliminating the fear of security risks.
However, this deal is now more than just an American company taking over. Recall that Microsoft and Trump already have an agreement on the proceedings for the TikTok sale. However, it appears that TikTok is not willing to sell to Microsoft. There are other American companies in line to purchase this app. Most recently, Twitter stated its desire to purchase TikTok. However, there is no substantial discussions between both companies for now.
Whatever the case may be, from September 15th, the ban on TikTok will be active. Trump seems to approve the sale of TikTok to Microsoft. We can not tell if his latest statement has a relationship with TikTok’s unwillingness to sell to Microsoft.
According to Sensor Tower, in July this year, Douyin and TikTok rank first in the global mobile app (non-game) download list with more than 65.2 million downloads, an increase of 21.4% over the same period in 2019. The United States is the market with the largest download volume in this issue, accounting for 9.7%.
TikTok is quite popular among teenagers
Over the past two years, TikTok’s growth has been exponential especially among teenagers. According to a report from Qustodio, children between four and fifteen spend an average of 80 minutes on TikTok daily. This is about five minutes short of the time they spend on YouTube.
In addition, the advent of the coronavirus pandemic accelerated the adoption of this app. Within the lockdown period (January to April), the app recorded massive downloads. According to Sensor Tower, users in India and the U.S. downloads this app more than every other region. However, this app is already facing a ban in India. Thus, losing its second-largest market will be a big blow for the company. Please note that the Chinese equivalent of this app is Douyin. Thus, most of the downloads value does not include what happens in China with Douyin.