Apr 8, 2024 - News

North Carolina's TikTok exposure

Eyeballs with TikTok logos in the pupils

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

North Carolina pensioners have a stake in the future of the social media app TikTok in the U.S.

Why it matters: Congress is considering legislation that would force China-based ByteDance to sell the social entertainment app's U.S. operation or shut it down.

State of play: At least 21 state and local retirement funds (including North Carolina) have an indirect investment in ByteDance, according to the Equable Institute, a bipartisan nonprofit that provides research on pensions.

  • Most of those are via private equity holdings, an asset class that makes up about 17% of public pension assets overall, according to actuarial firm Milliman.

Reality check: In no case do the ByteDance investments represent more than a sliver of each pension fund's overall assets.

  • "It's not going to make or break anybody," Anthony Randazzo, executive director of Equable, told Axios, noting that each ByteDance exposure would be well under 1% of the fund's overall assets. But "just because it's a small stake doesn't mean it doesn't matter."

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