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TikTok is facing scrutiny in many markets around the world

In most countries, TikTok bans are currently limited to government devices. But global and international marketers who rely on TikTok need to be ready to pivot their strategies in case a broader US ban causes a ripple effect in other markets.

  • Politics and trade agreements are key factors. Countries with strong economic and political ties to the US, like the UK and Canada, have a higher likelihood of pushing for broader bans. Marketers in countries that benefit from maintaining a good relationship with China, including those in Latin America and Southeast Asia, should be less concerned about a potential ban.
  • Data privacy attitudes and policies also matter. EU governments have historically been stricter than the US on data privacy and security. TikTok has taken a proactive approach in the region by migrating European user data to local servers under a program named Project Clover. However, as in the US, those efforts are unlikely to persuade most governments that TikTok doesn’t pose a national security threat.
  • In some countries, it may not be just TikTok at risk. France’s government device ban applies to the recreational use of all entertainment apps, while Japan is mulling a ban on any social app that spreads disinformation. Experts in Australia say that TikTok should not be the only focus of government agency bans. Complicated or multiplatform bans may be more difficult to enforce, however.

Billions of ad dollars are at stake. According to a Capterra survey published in March, over 80% of US marketers who use TikTok believe a TikTok ban would have a moderate to significant impact on achieving their companies’ social media marketing or advertising objectives. As worldwide ad spending on TikTok continues to grow fast, global and international marketers shouldn’t wait to get their backup plans in place.