Who Stands to Gain from a TikTok Ban

A campaign to stop the potential ban of TikTok has fizzled.Credit…Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The winners from the TikTok battle

The countdown to TikTok disappearing from the United States is about to start.

The Senate overwhelmingly passed legislation to force the divestment of the video app by its Chinese owner, ByteDance, within a year or be banned. President Biden is expected to sign it into law shortly.

Barring the app from U.S. shores could take months, or even years — if it actually happens. The road ahead is complicated, and any disruptions to the app could bolster its American rivals.

Who would benefit? The clear answer is Meta and Google. Both have increasingly emphasized their short-video offerings — Instagram’s Reels and YouTube’s Shorts — as places for creators. (Influencers often post on all three platforms.)

Analysts at Bernstein have estimated that, should TikTok be banned, Meta could draw up to 60 percent of TikTok’s American ad revenue, while YouTube could take another 25 percent or so. Meta’s stock was up more than 2 percent in premarket trading this morning.

Over the years, Meta has sought to amplify concerns about TikTok. But Meta may also experience some blowback if Donald Trump, an unexpected opponent of the TikTok bill who has called Facebook a bigger danger to the U.S., wins re-election in November.

Meta’s C.E.O., Mark Zuckerberg, is likely to face questions about his embattled rival when his tech giant reports earnings on Wednesday.

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