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What Will Happen if TikTok is Banned? 

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The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill earlier this month designed to force ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok, to sell the social media platform within six months, or lose access to app stores and web-hosting services in the U.S. Citing concerns that user information could be misused by the Chinese government, the bill now heads to the Senate where its future is uncertain. The swift action by the House has sparked debates across social media about the potential impact a U.S. ban on TikTok would have on businesses, influencers and everyday users. 

 Dr. Jolivette Wallace, associate dean of marketing programs at SNHUDr. Jolivette Wallace, associate dean of online business programs at Southern New Hampshire University, said the impact would be significant for businesses of all sizes.

"Considering the socioeconomic impact of this ban, companies that have invested in TikTok-related initiatives ... may need to downsize or restructure if the platform is banned, resulting in potential job losses,” Wallace said. 

From entrepreneurs launching passion projects or ‘side hustles’ to large corporations, companies have turned to the popular app as a marketing tool to reach their target audience.  

Wallace said TikTok, like other social media platforms, are successful because users can witness creators engage with a product or service and they develop a trust with those creators. TikTok’s focus on authenticity and creativity has made it a valuable part of the marketing mix for corporations large and small, she said.  

"Considering the reach and engagement, creative influence, diversification of marketing channels, and now e-commerce integration of TikTok Shop, TikTok has become increasingly important in modern marketing strategies for both large and small companies,” Wallace said 

Influencers on TikTok who earn income through brand partnerships, sponsored content and advertising would lose those revenue streams entirely.  

“For many TikTok influencers, creating content is a full-time career,” Wallace said. “A ban on TikTok would be a career disruption, forcing them to adapt their content creation strategies, seek alternative platforms, or explore new career paths altogether.” TikTok also serves as an informational search engine for millions of people, especially members of Gen-Z. 

“Because the content is created by a diverse range of creators, followers are exposed to different perspectives and viewpoints on a variety of subjects,” Wallace said. “The ban would limit the exposure to diverse voices, potentially limiting the understanding of different issues and topics.” 

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Joe Cote is a writer and organic marketer at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), where he has worked since 2016. Previously he spent more than a dozen years as a reporter and editor at weekly and daily newspapers in Vermont and New Hampshire. He lives near SNHU's Manchester, New Hampshire campus with his wife and daughter. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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