TikTok’s 150 million US Base users, TikTok has a strong defence against the Biden administration’s threat of a ban. The figure indicates that 45% of the country is using the app, making it part of their routine. This data also comes as TikTok CEO Shou Chew is set to testify in front of Congress on Thursday and as the Biden Administration has demanded the Chinese owners of TikTok divest their US business or risk getting banned from the US entirely.
Although TikTok is still not at the same level as Facebook, which has 266 million monthly active users in the US, the app’s popularity is evident. According to Chew, almost half of the US population uses TikTok to connect, create, share, learn, or have fun. The user numbers include approximately 5 million businesses using the app to reach their customers.
TikTok’s popularity, especially among younger generations in the US, is likely the reason why the Biden administration is pushing for a sale instead of an outright ban, as industry watchers have previously noted. Mark Shmulik, an analyst with Bernstein, stated that younger generations in the US are more likely to vote Democrat, which explains the government’s hesitation on banning the app.
As a result, politicians are turning to TikTok to reach younger voters. Any action the government takes on the app has ramifications for the next election in 2024, according to Darrell West, a senior fellow for the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings. West argued that if Biden ends up banning TikTok, it will become harder for the Democrats to reach that audience, potentially affecting voter turnout.
Ultimately, TikTok has amassed a large user base in the US, and the more users it continues to add, the higher the stakes become for what the government decides to do.