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TikTok sell or ban bill becomes law

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TikTok sell or ban bill becomes law

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President Joe Biden today signed a bill into law that forces TikTok to either divest from Chinese parent company ByteDance or face a full ban in the U.S.

What it means. ByteDance must sell TikTok in nine months. That deadline can be extended by 90 days if needed to complete a sale.

  • If ByteDance doesn’t divest, app stores will no longer legally be allowed to distribute TikTok.
  • Interestingly, 270 days from today is Jan. 19, 2025, which is one day before the scheduled inauguration of the next U.S. President.

What TikTok is saying. CEO Chew Shou Zi posted a video response, promising to challenge this ban (which he said is unconstitutional) in court, adding, “We aren’t going anywhere.”

Why we care. TikTok said it has 170 million U.S. users. Brands and businesses will be impacted because they will be unable to reach those people anymore should this TikTok ban go through in 2025. Any TikTok marketing investments would likely need to be redirected to YouTube or Meta properties.

Search and advertising impact. TikTok has increasingly become the starting point for search and discovery among younger users, like Gen Z. TikTok introduced Search Ads in August and added Search Insights in March.


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About the author

Danny Goodwin

Danny Goodwin has been Managing Editor of Search Engine Land & Search Marketing Expo – SMX since 2022. He joined Search Engine Land in 2022 as Senior Editor. In addition to reporting on the latest search marketing news, he manages Search Engine Land’s SME (Subject Matter Expert) program. He also helps program U.S. SMX events.

Goodwin has been editing and writing about the latest developments and trends in search and digital marketing since 2007. He previously was Executive Editor of Search Engine Journal (from 2017 to 2022), managing editor of Momentology (from 2014-2016) and editor of Search Engine Watch (from 2007 to 2014). He has spoken at many major search conferences and virtual events, and has been sourced for his expertise by a wide range of publications and podcasts.

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