The Drum Awards Festival - Extended Deadline

-d -h -min -sec

Snap Bytedance TikTok

Despite Trump’s demands, TikTok appoints VaynerMedia new US social media agency


By Kenneth Hein, US Editor

September 10, 2020 | 4 min read

TikTok is still going full steam ahead with its social media marketing plans, despite a high-profile showdown with president Trump. TikTok parent company ByteDance, which is based in China, has tapped VaynerMedia to amp up its marketing efforts on social media in the United States.


TikTok has hired VaynerMedia in the US as it continues to push on with its marketing efforts

Will this affect the acquisition saga?

  • Gen Z’s favorite video sharing app has been a daily fixture in the news since Trump demanded it either sell its US operations or be shut down. Reported suitors for the in-demand app have included Microsoft, Walmart and Oracle.

  • However, yesterday, the news broke that ByteDance is working with the US government to find a way out of selling its American operations outright, per The Wall Street Journal. It reports that this is a direct result of the Chinese government’s steps to make an acquisition more difficult.

  • At the heart of the matter is Trump’s assertions that the Chinese government could be collecting US data, a claim which ByteDance denies saying the data is stored in the US with a redundancy back up located in Singapore.

  • Trump signed an executive order that said the US unit must be sold by 20 September, but has since extended the deadline until 12 November — nine days after the US election day.

  • Nick Tran, head of global marketing at TikTok tells The Drum: “We are excited to continue connecting with our community through our social media channels and bringing more of TikTok's brand and content to life off-platform. Culture starts on TikTok, and Vayner is now onboard to help us amplify that message.”

  • VaynerMedia chief executive Gary Vaynerchuk has been outwardly complimentary of the platform, telling Bloomberg earlier this year that “TikTok is the winning social network of the pandemic.” VaynerMedia referred calls to the client.

  • TikTok's mission is to inspire creativity and joy, which is a mandate for the new social media creative for the brand, per sources.

  • The platform currently has 80 million active monthly US users and its US business is valued at up to $30 billion. Although TikTok is increasingly under pressure from Snapchat and the new Instagram Reels, it is still a huge favorite among Gen Z who have used the platform to troll President Trump.

To keep up with all our dedicated US coverage, sign up for the free daily briefing newsletter.

Snap Bytedance TikTok

More from Snap

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +