There’s no guarantee this would be enough. President Trump said on Air Force One that he would ban TikTok outright and rejected talk of allowing a sell-off. He suggested he would use an executive order or emergency economic powers to block the company. However, he also said this before word of a possible US deal emerged. If TikTok sheds its Chinese links, a ban might not have much effect.

A ban could have serious consequences if it remained intact for a significant period, and not just to TikTok’s bottom line. The company has about 100 million American users, and a sudden shutdown could both make people scramble to alternatives and possibly create resentment. It could affect creator money and TikTok jobs, too. In that regard, the social media giant might not have much choice if it wants to prevent chaos.

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