US TikTok ban would be devastating, UK firms warn

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A TikTok ban in the US could have a "potentially devastating" impact on some UK businesses, online traders are warning.

Axar.az reports that President Biden has signed into law a bill that gives TikTok's Chinese owner, ByteDance, nine months to sell its stake in the app or it will be blocked in the US. TikTok has said it will challenge this in court.

Some 1.5 million UK businesses operate on the app, according to TikTok.

Isobel Perl, founder of Perl Cosmetics in London, is worried about the possible impact of a ban as a quarter of her sales now come from the US.

Ms Perl founded her skincare and accessories business after losing her job during the pandemic and uses apps such as TikTok to drive traffic to her website.

The first six months were "just figuring out how to run a business on her own" and it wasn't until she started using TikTok that the brand took off, she said.

"I mostly use TikTok to drive sales to our website, of all the social media apps it drives the most traffic".

She's been using the app to grow her business outside of the UK.

A TikTok ban in the US "could be potentially devastating to businesses in the UK, TikTok is quite a unique way of reaching customers," she said.

Kyle Frank, founder of Franks Remedies, also sells skincare products on TikTok.

He's worked hard to grow his customer base on the app and America is now a big market for him.

He told BBC World Service's Marketplace programme, that a ban would hurt his business.

"Certain months 60-70% of our monthly sales have come from the US," he said.

The US has become his second biggest market and TikTok has been a successful way of reaching those customers, he added.

"We haven't had to spend any money on ads or marketing to get those customers and connect with them."

2024.04.25 / 18:50
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