For sheer corporate drama, few episodes in recent U.S. business history can match last summer’s Trump-TikTok saga, with elements of geopolitical intrigue spliced with Trump’s unique governing style. And as is clear now, it all culminated in…absolutely nothing. The Biden administration isn’t pursuing the ban. Meanwhile, ByteDance and TikTok have gone from strength to strength, as if last year was just a bad dream. (For TikTok’s short-lived CEO Kevin Mayer, who quit at the height of the drama, it was a career disaster, but that’s another story).
How strongly ByteDance is now positioned was demonstrated by two reports today, including this one in The Information, about ByteDance’s strength in China. There, Tencent’s WeChat social media goliath is struggling to make inroads in the video arena against the might of ByteDance’s local version of TikTok, Douyin. Meanwhile, Reuters today reported that TikTok’s advertising business has surged since the election, when it became clear TikTok was likely to survive the Trump administration. These two follow our story in late January that ByteDance’s revenue had more than doubled in 2020.