Music Business

TikTok will shut down rather than sell to U.S. owner, Reuters reports

TikTok owner ByteDance will shut down the app rather than sell it if legal options fail to combat legislation to ban the app in the U.S., but the reasons behind the stance by the Chinese-owned company are more practical than political.

Despite its popularity, TikTok is not yet profitable and only represents a small fraction of ByteDance’s revenue.

Also, the famous algorithm that makes TikTok so addictive powers the core of ByteDance’s overall operations, which is not technology the company will share, sources told Reuters.

ByteDance all but confirmed the story on Toutiao, a media platform it owns, saying it had no plan to sell TikTok, in response to a report by The Information that it was exploring the sale of its U.S. business without the algorithm.

Could someone buy TikTok without the algorithm?

Perhaps, but the cost and time needed to switch to an effective alternative makes that option unlikely.

Bruce Houghton is the Founder and Editor of Hypebot, a Senior Advisor at Bandsintown, President of the Skyline Artists Agency, and a Berklee College Of Music professor.

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