Montana’s TikTok ban has hurt some businesses

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Keri Williams wouldn’t have her business without TikTok. She launched The Branded Pinto, her custom hat shop, about two years ago after a video she shared of one of her creations “blew up” on TikTok. Nearly all of her business still comes from the platform.

But earlier this week, Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte signed a bill banning TikTok in the state. Now, Williams, who lives near Montana’s largest city — Billings — is scrambling to figure out the future of her business.

“I’ve been trying to get some of the people over to Instagram in case something horrible does happen, where people suddenly can’t get to my TikTok,” she told CNN, “but I’m not really sure how it’s all going to work.”

Over the past year, lawmakers in Washington have ratcheted up their scrutiny of TikTok, with a growing number of Congress members calling for a national ban of the short-form video app due to concerns about its ties to China through its parent company, ByteDance.

But with the bill signing this week, Montana became the first US state to impose a complete ban of the app — and almost immediately threw residents like Williams into a new era of uncertainty that could spread to other parts of the country if more states or the federal government take similar action.


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Chuck comes from a lineage of journalism. He has written for some of the webs most popular news sites. He enjoys spending time outdoors, bull riding, and collecting old vinyl records. Roll Tide!