By: Nick Gambino

Well, it finally happened, just as we predicted (ok, we’re not the only ones who predicted it). President Biden has signed a bill that includes a TikTok ban. 

ByteDance, parent company of the super popular social media app, will have to sell TikTok within nine months or be banned from all app stores in the United States. The President will have the chance to extend it after those nine months but only for an additional three months. In other words, the clock is ticking and it runs out in only a year. 

The foreign aid package, which included the mandate for ByteDance to divest, gained bipartisan support and just this week passed the House, the Senate and then the President. 

“As we continue to challenge this unconstitutional ban, we will continue investing and innovating to ensure TikTok remains a space where Americans of all walks of life can safely come to share their experiences, find joy, and be inspired,” Alex Haurek, a spokesperson for TikTok, said in a statement.

@tiktokResponse to TikTok Ban Bill

♬ original sound  – TikTok

This is behemoth-corporation 101 – position yourself as the victim or underdog and play it for all its worth. The truth is, TikTok is owned by a company in China, a country in which businesses are never really privately owned. The app is collecting personal information on US citizens and if the Chinese government were to demand that information there is presumably nothing ByteDance would be able to do about it. They would be forced to turn it over despite claims that they would do otherwise. 

I’m no legal expert, but it doesn’t seem like the courts are going to be able to do much for them. My prediction is that in under a year they will sell TikTok to the highest bidder or figure out a way to spin off the US portion of the app and sell that. This latter scenario seems unworkable, but when your back is against the wall, you have to figure out something.