May 30, 2024

Taylor Daily Press

Complete News World

Small entrepreneurs in the US fear the TikTok ban

Small entrepreneurs in the US fear the TikTok ban

US entrepreneurs protested in Washington last year against the TikTok ban

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  • Lily Sophie Maigret

    Editor’s Bureau Washington

  • Lily Sophie Maigret

    Editor’s Bureau Washington

Small entrepreneurs in the U.S. fear it will be hard for them if the country bans TikTok. Many of them use the use of video to market their products and services and build relationships with their customers. The US government is highly critical of the app and wants TikTok to split from its Chinese parent company over fears of spying and data misuse. The Senate will announce the final decision soon. Entrepreneurs are eagerly waiting.

Mark Fuqua, owner of a scented candle company in New York, says, “TikTok has really allowed us to connect with the people we want to reach. In a loft in borough of Brooklyn, he and Erica Luo pack thousands of candles a month. They never dreamed the company would do so well. “We’re in our kitchen. We started making candles very modestly.”

With TikTok, the entrepreneurs were able to reach exactly the group they created the fragrances for: Asian Americans. Candles have a scent that reminds entrepreneurs of their Asian origins. Lychee is the best seller. The TikTok strategy saved the company a lot of spending on marketing and advertising in the beginning. The startup became successful after one of its videos went viral on the platform.

Fertile soil for beginners

Digital marketing expert Megan Tomasik says the fears small entrepreneurs have right now are justified. “I think a lot of smaller companies will run out of bulk orders and have to close.”

According to Tomasik, TikTok is such a fertile ground for startups mainly because of the personal side that entrepreneurs show on the app. What she believes big companies lack is credibility. “Seeing an entrepreneur explain why they love their product and why it’s so important to them makes people want to support small businesses.”

TikTok CEO Sho Chi Siew at a hearing in the US House of Representatives (photo taken in March 2023)

Fuqua and Luo also attribute their success on TikTok to shared experiences. “People join our adventure and get a chance to experience what it’s like to be a small business owner,” says Fuqua. “And that’s just by watching our videos.”

‘Can’t compare to other apps’

TikTok knows what TikTokers want to watch thanks to user data. According to marketing expert Tomasic, it cannot be compared to other applications. “The speed at which companies can grow on TikTok and deliver their personalized message to customers is truly extraordinary.”

Mark Fuqua and Erica Luo create TikTok content in their New York warehouse

Questions about data storage have haunted TikTok for some time. The company tried to gain trust in the US through Project Texas, which involved moving data stored on US users to a company in Texas with US employees. But some information was still shared with headquarters in Beijing. TikTok says this is necessary for further development of the algorithm.

It is not yet clear when the Senate will vote on the bill. It is also uncertain whether the motion will be passed there.

Voting campaign

TikTok and American content creators Either way, feed diligently Propaganda To convince people of the importance of the app. In an ad from the platform, one user says: “The five million small business owners who depend on TikTok are hoping to put bread on the table for their families.”

Without TikTok, the future would not be bright for many small entrepreneurs, says Tomasic, a marketing expert. “It’s not the same with Instagram or YouTube or Facebook. It’s a difficult transition that many small business owners can’t handle.”