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From The Information:

"As TikTok tries to win over U.S. politicians, it may have kneecapped its shopping service, TikTok Shop.

"Relatively few U.S. merchants are showing interest in signing up for the nascent service, both because they’re more focused on expanding in bricks and mortar and because they’re concerned the app could be banned, merchants say.

"Overseas sellers, in contrast, are eager for a new way to tap into the world’s second-largest e-commerce market. But TikTok has blocked foreign merchants from selling on the U.S. version of the service.

"TikTok Shop, which started inviting U.S. merchants to sign up in November, initially had several hundred registered merchants, according to a person briefed on the matter, and has been trying to get more sellers to sign up. But as of last month, the number of U.S. merchants actually selling their goods directly on TikTok Shop was less than 100, the person said."

KC's View:

I don't blame marketers from shying away from a tech platform that they fear could be banned in the US.  Unless TikTok's US business is spun off from the larger conglomerate that essentially controlled by the Chinese government, creating a credible US security threat, I think it is a pretty fair bet that a bipartisan movement in Congress will lead to such a ban.

If a spinoff takes place, though, I'd expect to see an explosion in merchant participation on TikTok Shop - the user base is almost too big to ignore.