TikTok today announced a $ 200 million fundraiser, aimed at helping top American creators increase their revenue, and possibly hold the next Charli D’Amelio out of wood.
Called the TikTok Design Fund, the fund aims to help “qualified” founders on the platform earn money. Qualifications are currently defined as 18 years or older, meeting specific (unspecified) fan base, and regularly posting original content that complies with TikTok’s community guidelines. The platform will begin receiving applications from creators based in the U.S. starting next month and expanding the capital next year.
The promise of payment comes with a great time for the app and its Chinese parent ByteDance. TikTok has been facing increasing criticism in the US, which is its largest market for revenue, for its handling of user data and its obligations with China, over calls from Trump executives to ban the openly popular app.
And in response to that, TikTok has been taking steps to introduce a friendly face to the US. He has promised to add 10,000 more workers to the US, and this week there are rumors that US investors are considering buying a certain amount of business from TikTok back from ByteDance to get the company’s power in Chinese hands.
(It is unclear whether the latter is a sound test, or a rumor, but as a divorce, these days, ByteDance and TikTok are trying very hard to show that they are not connected, if you just pass the way they treat their PR: Chinese speakers will not answer TikTok questions and refer journalists to the US team.)
Vanessa Pappas, GM of the business of TikTok, in the U.S., in a post that B ByteDance is starting the Creator’s Fund for $ 200 million and plans to raise it over time. He did not disclose how TikTok could determine how much each creator would pay, and whether there could be additional payment options. (Ask us about this and how many fan creators would need to have it right, and we’ll review as we learn more.)
TikTok is already helping its creators sign a brand partnership with sponsored products, and offers to make money from live streaming. The platform also has a $ 50 million Creative Learning Fund fund to introduce teachers on the platform, used by about 1,000 teachers in the U.S. And Creator Market connects brands and creators to participate in paid campaigns.
“Through the TikTok Design Fund, our creators will be able to earn extra money earning their time, attention and dedication in constructive communication with viewers inspired by their ideas,” he said.
TikTok currently employs about 1,400 people in the U.S. And they have recently crossed the border of $ 2 billion worldwide. Last year, it said it had 26 million users in the U.S.
Several lawmakers including Senator Chuck Schumer and Tom Cotton have expressed concern in recent months that TikTok user data could end up colluding with the Chinese government. China-headquartered ByteDance insists that it does not share user information with the Chinese government, and that it maintains its U.S.-based user data. Earlier this week lawmakers in the House voted 336-71 to bar government employees from using TikTok on government-issued devices.
TikTok, who appointed Disney chief executive Kevin Mayer as its chief executive in May this year, also emphasized that it is the Cayman Islands that are included.
At the moment, it seems that the programs launched by TikTok are mainly designed to fight this fire in the US. It did not respond to a request for comment asking what was being done to help the creators of other markets increase their profits.
India, where TikTok has more than 200 million users and more than 1 million creators, banned TikTok and 58 other applications developed by Chinese firms late last month over concerns about cybersecurity. Its neighboring country Pakistan issued a “final warning” to TikTok earlier this week about what it considered to be immoral.