The future of TikTok remains unknown in the United States. Photo by Chantelle van Heerden [Flickr].
- The saga of President Donald Trump versus social media platform TikTok continues to unravel
- As Trump attempts to have the app banned across America, companies like Microsoft and Apple show interest in purchasing it
- Sportsbooks have now posted odds on TikTok’s fate in the United States
It used to be that the biggest issue with TikTok was concern over app addiction. Not long ago, the social media platform was best known for its viral dance trends and whipped coffee fads. But over the past several months, the narrative around TikTok has changed entirely.
Since TikTok is owned by Beijing tech company ByteDance, all user data on the app is legally available to the Chinese government under the China Internet Security Law. President Donald Trump is concerned about American user biometric data being available to the Chinese government and wants to ban it in the US.
In 2018, ByteDance founder and CEO Zhang Yiming issued a letter saying he would deepen his cooperation with the Chinese Communist Party. This adds a whole other level of concern surrounding American security.
Online sportsbooks have posted two props on TikTok’s fate: an over/under on sale price and odds on whether it is banned in the US.
Over/Under TikTok Sale Price
|Over $50 Billion USD||+125|
|Under $50 Billion USD||-165|
Odds as of August 4.
Just as Trump seemed to be finalizing plans to eliminate TikTok entirely, Microsoft swept in as the first potential buyer of TikTok. The sale would divert the app to an American company and cut ties with China. Meanwhile, Apple has also announced they’re interested.
Trump putting TikTok ban on hold for 45 days: report https://t.co/fUouWeBDIY pic.twitter.com/7yvYIjmWEa
— The Hill (@thehill) August 4, 2020
If either company manages to negotiate a deal, it’s going to be for a hefty price. TikTok is a behemoth in today’s social media climate. Presently, it has over 800 million active users including popular accounts from bona fide stars such as Will Smith and Dwayne Johnson. It’s also the number one entertainment app in the world right now.
At this point, it seems if TikTok wants to survive in the United States, the owners must sell it to an American company. With Apple and Microsoft leading the charge as interested buyers, ByteDance Ltd. is positioned to name a high price tag.
Looking at past purchases of social media platforms, the most famous sale was Instagram in 2012. Facebook purchased the photo-sharing platform for a cool $1 billion.
Given the controversy, ByteDance may be motivated to sell TikTok right away. They may not be slated to earn over $50 billion, but they’ll make more than Instagram went for. Trump has stated he wants the government to get a cut of whatever deal ends this debacle.
But even with Trump’s suggestion– or with a potential bidding war between Microsoft and Apple — TikTok will probably sell for a few billion tops.
Pick: Under $50 Billion USD (-165)
Odds on TikTok Being Banned in the US By October 1, 2020
Should TikTok not be purchased by an American entity, it may quickly become a piece of the past in the US. Trump’s intention to ban the app was only paused when US-owned companies started to show interest as potential buyers.
The sale of TikTok could fall through for numerous reasons. Maybe ByteDance’s asking price will be too much. Or maybe Trump will decide that, even if it’s sold, he still wants TikTok to be kaput. He has reason to dislike the app beyond the potential sharing of personal information.
Trump started showing considerable disdain for the app after a June campaign rally went sideways. TikTok users rebelled against Trump in droves by signing up for seats at the rally that they had no intention to show up for. This action led to the event being hugely unattended. Trump’s focus to take down the app happened after this string of events. His dislike of TikTok may also be in reaction to the numerous Trump parody videos also popular on the app.
So far, a US President has never successfully banned an app within America. While other parts of the world have successfully blocked or banned social media platforms–like that of China’s country-wide Facebook ban–it’s unheard of within the States.
Trump’s attention on TikTok will eventually fizzle out regardless of TikTok being purchased or not. The world will go back to watching Jason Derulo embarrass himself with dance routines intended for teenagers. All will be right in the world.
Pick: No (-300)
JJ De La Torre
As an active entertainment aficionado, the former Editor-in-Chief for the Capilano Courier, JJ also co-founded Lords of Dogwood, a Vancouver-based entertainment site in 2013. His writing has been found in ION Magazine, the North Shore News, and The Strand.