“I wonder if the US will ban TikTok because that seems a consensus trade among my fund manager peers? ”

I pondered out loud while relaxing with my family and a glass of wine in front of a fire

“That would be ridiculous! For goodness sake, they don’t even ban automatic weapons that kill children!”

Said my darling wife in a tone that experience whispered, “be very careful what you say next!”

“No ways” said my 20 year old daughter,

“It’s the sole source of income for so many people, there would be an outcry. Besides, I’d be completely lost – I only search on TikTok these days, I no longer bother with Google”


Then I filled my glass and silently searched for some “numbers” to back up these “narratives” – some call this “research”

An article on digiday made the following points

“TikTok makes up about 25% of the social ad budgets,” said Brendan Gahan, chief innovation officer at digital marketing agency Mekanism.

“Since 2020 it’s grown pretty steadily. Each year it’s grown around 50% year over year.”

“full screen video ads are the most impactful”

Makes sense

Apparently 22% of the two trillion hours spent in social apps on Android devices was spent on TikTok , according to analytics firm Data.AI

But they only received 2% of the revenue

Mmm – well that’s unsustainable & going up

An article in the Financials Times wrote that ads on TikTok are half the price of Reels, 1/3 cheaper than Twitter and 62% cheaper than Snapchat

“So many of our brand partners used to be 80% Instragram, now for 2023 we’re seeing 80%-100% TikTok” said the founder of creative agency, Billion Dollar Boy

Ok, now I know why these mega-cap tech companies so fear the app

But who owns TikTok?

ByteDance, but apparently the Chinese Govt has a stake

But why ban short videos?

Because they store your location data


Then the Chinese Govt knows where you are

And what exactly are they going to do with that data?

Besides, Google, Apple and Snap know where we are anyway

Is the US really willing to substantially raise international tensions over this “invented ghost”

when Oracle has apparently been managing their US user data for well over a year?

But let’s ignore the legal appeals & assume the US bans TikTok,

Isn’t an immediate realiation from China a cast iron guarantee?

Shouldn’t we expect them to announce a ban on Apple within days ?

China is 20% of Apple’s sales and the location of most of their production

So if that happened, prepare to watch the largest company in the world halve, wiping out $1trn of benchmark-hugging US & global equity savings

Roiling global stock markets & hitting the US economy where it hurts most

Just when the world doesn’t need it

Nope, surely the US is far more sensible than this – the downside really isn’t worth any perceived privacy upside

So it seems that my wife is right

Which is both unsurprisiring

and a welcome relief