Home Money US fails to curb £100bn TikTok boom as Chinese owner’s profits rise

US fails to curb £100bn TikTok boom as Chinese owner’s profits rise

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Selena Gomez



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Business is booming for TikTok’s Chinese owner despite attempts in Washington to ban the video-sharing app.

Bytedance’s profits rose 60 per cent last year to more than £30bn after the Beijing-based technology group’s revenue hit £94bn as it approached the £100bn mark.

This will exceed £63 billion in 2022. TikTok, launched in 2016, has grown in popularity since the pandemic, with more than one billion users worldwide today.

These include some of the world’s biggest stars, such as Kylie Jenner, Selena Gomez and Will Smith. It has been suggested that Smith earns so much from TikTok that he no longer needs to act.

And it has become a vehicle to help unknown people find fame and fortune.

Selena Gomez

Will Smith

Will Smith

Top of the Toks: TikTok has more than one billion users worldwide, including some of the world’s biggest stars, like Selena Gomez, left, and Will Smith, right.

Factory worker turned social media star Khaby Lame is currently the most followed person in the world on the app, with a whopping 161.4 million followers.

Lame, 23, found a career as an influencer after losing his job and now earns millions of pounds a year through ads and brand sponsorships.

And TikTok’s growing popularity has also led to its parent company, Bytedance, becoming one of the world’s most valuable startups, worth £200bn.

But its latest spectacular figures come as the group faces growing pressure in the United States.

Last month, Washington took a step closer to banning TikTok after the House of Representatives passed a bill calling on parent company Bytedance to sell its stake in the US version, or face the boot.

The company has been accused of allowing the Chinese government to access sensitive user data and influence users.

TikTok, which has approximately 170 million users in the United States, has denied these allegations.

‘Bytedance is not owned or controlled by the Chinese government. It is a private company,” TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew said in congressional testimony last month.

TikTok maintains that its data is stored outside China, in Singapore and the United States.

1712800900 392 US fails to curb 100bn TikTok boom as Chinese owners

1712800900 392 US fails to curb 100bn TikTok boom as Chinese owners

Some experts say the strong gains in 2023 act as a new red flag for regulators.

‘This is another muscle-flexing moment for Bytedance and TikTok showing massive advertising and subscriber growth. “This will further feed the regulatory web in the United States,” said Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush.

The Indian government pulled the plug on the app in 2020 after a violent clash on the India-China border.

Officials said apps like TikTok posed a “threat to sovereignty and integrity.”

The UK has resisted the ban, but the app was blocked on government devices last year after a review found there “might” be a risk.

In February, Universal Music removed millions of TikTok songs followed by payments.

Universal, which controls a third of the world’s songs, including hits by Taylor Swift and the Beatles, accused her of offering a bad deal. Social media sites pay labels and musicians to broadcast her music.

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