TikTok faces possible ban in US; Aims to launch paid membership for rival Amazon Prime and Walmart+; Amazon is losing appeal due to its targeting of British consumers

In today’s ExchangeWire summary: TikTok faces possible ban in US; Aims to launch paid membership for rival Amazon Prime and Walmart+; Amazon is losing appeal due to its targeting of British consumers

National security concerns in the US have led to the introduction of a new bill that – if passed – would ban app stores in the country from distributing Chinese-made apps. This ban would also include TikTok unless the video platform cuts ties with its Chinese parent company ByteDance. The bill would impose a civil penalty on app stores and web hosting services that violate the law. Lawmakers have given ByteDance 165 days to divest TikTok to avoid the app being banned. The video giant has called out the bill as a violation of Americans’ First Amendment rights and depriving small businesses of a platform they rely on to grow and create jobs.

In other US-focused news: Target has plans to launch a paid membership program to compete with other major retail giants like Amazon and Walmart. On April 7, the retailer is introducing Target Circle 360, a membership that builds on its Target Circle loyalty program. It offers subscribers unlimited free same-day delivery on orders of $35 (£27.50) and more, along with free two-day shipping, aiming to compete with Amazon Prime and Walmart+. For Target cardholders, membership costs USD$49 (£38.50). Membership will only be available to non-cardholders at the same cost for the first few weeks after launch; From mid-May, the price for non-cardholders will increase to USD$99 (£77.80).

Amazon remains in the retail sector and has lost an appeal against a ruling claiming it had infringed British trademarks by targeting British consumers on its US website. The tech titan was found to have infringed its trademarks by the London Court of Appeal in 2022 and appealed to the UK Supreme Court in 2023, where it was ruled that the US website targeted British consumers. Intellectual property lawmakers have said the ruling could affect all online retailers as they need to ensure their platforms do not automatically target British consumers.

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