TikTok US Sales ‘Hit $16bn’, ByteDance Nears Meta In World Revenues

TikTok’s revenues in the United States stand at around $20 billion (£16bn), with Beijing-based parent firm ByteDance coming close to toppling Facebook parent Meta Platforms as the world’s biggest social media compay by worldwide sales, according to reports.

Privately held ByteDance does not disclose its financial figures, but the Financial Times reported that its TikTok US operation had $16bn in 2023 sales, a record figure, while The Information put the figure at roughly $20bn. Both outlets cited unnamed sources.

ByteDance had $120bn in worldwide revenues in 2023, up 40 percent year-on-year, driven by its rapid growth, the FT reported.

That compares to Meta’s $135bn in revenues last year, up 16 percent from 2022.

Profits

The majority of ByteDance’s revenues come from China, where it operates TikTok sister platform Douyin and has successfully tapped into the livestream e-commerce trend popular across Asia.

TikTok remains unprofitable due to heavy spending on expansion, but Douyin as a whole recorded $28bn in net profits last year, the FT said.

The reports come as the US Senate considers a bill already approved by the House of Representatives that would force ByteDance to sell TikTok’s US operations within six months or be banned in the country.

TikTok has been campaigning fiercely against the bill, encouraging users to contact their representatives en masse and reportedly spending heavily on lobbyists.

Image credit: Unsplash

Steep price tag

The bill requires approval by the Senate, where lawmakers are taking a more measured approach than in the House, and must be signed by president Joe Biden, who has said he would do so.

The figures also emphasise the steep price tag that any TikTok buyer would have to pay – applying a comparable revenue multiple to Meta, the FT estimated TikTok US could be valued at $150bn.

The sale would also require the approval of the Chinese government, under 2020 export controls that give it the power to sign off on such sales or divestitures.

TikTok is also facing increasing pressure from regulators over its protection of the personal data of young people and protecting them from access to potentially harmful content, amongst other issues.

Regulatory pressure

Last week the Italian communications regulator levied a fine of 10m euros on three of the company’s European units for failing to protect young people from dangerous content, following fines last year from Ireland’s data protection commissioner and the UK Information Commissioner’s Office.

The European Commission last month opened a probe into whether TikTok breached new Digital Services Act (DSA) rules related to the protection of minors, advertising transparence, data access for researchers and risk management for addictive design and harmful content.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

Recent Posts

NHS Staff Say New Tech Will Treat Extra 18.6 Million Patients A Year

Research from Virgin Media O2 Business finds majority of NHS staff believe new tech will…

4 hours ago

Alphabet Q2 Beats Expectations, But Shares Dip

Despite share buyback and positive Q2 results, Alphabet's share price falls over YouTube slowdown and…

5 hours ago

Google Cancels Plan To Axe Third Party Cookies For Chrome Browser

Better switch to Firefox? After years of delays, Google performs u-turn and will no longer…

6 hours ago

Meta Releases Open Source Llama 3.1 AI Model

Release of latest AI model, Llama 405B, offers improved reasoning capabilities especially for math and…

7 hours ago

Microsoft Blames 2009 EU Agreement For World’s Biggest IT Outage

Redmond says EU deal gave CrowdStrike the keys to the Windows kernel, allowing last week's…

11 hours ago